How a Snake Gets into Your Bathroom – Bangkok, 2016. A man is going to the bathroom. He is getting ready to relax when all of a sudden, something crawls out of the toilet pipe and bites him. The man keeps his wits about him and calls the rescue service. The intruder is soon pulled out of the toilet, and it turns out to be a 10-foot python!
Yes, a python in the potty! And this case is not the only one. Rescuers pull out dozens of snakes from toilets around the world every year. Kinda makes you want to hold it now, doesn’t? But wait, here’s the same story –from the other side. Somewhere in the jungles of Thailand, a python has been sweating from intense heat for three days.
A small pond nearby has dried up, and it’s too dangerous to go to the lake– too long a distance, and it can come across towns and villages along the way. The best solution is to wait until the drought ends and rain starts. But it’s not only about the heat: poor python is very hungry. This can’t wait. So the snake goes on a hunt. There’s no lunch on the way.
Birds fly away immediately, seeing the predator, monkeys climb to the treetops. Even so, the python discovers something. The smell of its favorite food. Rats. Yeah, today the python will have its dinner. Driven by the smell of food, it doesn’t even notice that the jungle has ended, and human dwellings are all around. But its okay, it just needs to be careful and people won’t notice.
The python crawls along the alleys and trash cans for a while and the smell leads it to the sewer hatch. A little scary, but the hunger is stronger. The snake gets inside. It’s pretty cold here, and there’s water! A lot of it! It’s smelly, though, and certainly not drinkable. The python confidently crawls to the smell of prey.
Now it hears the familiar squeak of little rodents. It would catch them by surprise, but. . . the rats notice the predator in time and scuttle. The python is an experienced hunter, so it immediately notices the largest and swiftly slithers after it. The rodent runs into a small pipe.
It seems the rat has no chance of salvation in such a narrow tube. Unfortunately for python, though, it hides. But it left the smell! The python crawls into the pipe, makes several turns and realizes smells are everywhere. It’s time to come back. But now it has serious problems. It wanders around the sewers for a long time.
These are long and straight pipes with little water. Sometimes curved S-shaped channels appear, but the python creeps through them without difficulty. Some tubes are entirely filled with water, but it doesn’t have any problems with that – the animal swims underwater for several feet quite easily. Smelly waste crashes upon the python from time to time.
The tight space and darkness make it nervous. Hunger is getting stronger. Panicking already, the snake moves faster. There’s less and less air, but suddenly it feels a faint stream of fresh oxygen. It crawls that way. And what’s that? There’s light at the end of the tunnel! Great! Finally, the python gets out. …but this is not the place it came from.
It crawls to the source of air and light, out along S-shaped pipe and. . . sees a human! And it’s not his best side if you know what I mean. Now he’s really scared. Self-preservation instinct triggers and the python bites the threat. In general, as you understand, pythons get into sewers because they follow the rats.
But now let’s say you live in the concrete jungle on the twentieth floor. Unfortunately, there is still a risk, albeit very small, that a snake makes its way into your toilet. And no, they don’t live in urban sewers like crocodiles. I’m kidding. There are no such huge reptiles in the sewers at all.
So, your neighbor from five floors down is a fan of exotic animals. He’s bought a domestic snake recently. One day, he stayed late at work and didn’t feed the snake in time. The hungry animal is trying to get out of the cage. It so happens that the neighbor hasn’t closed the lid properly this morning. The snake takes advantage of this and quickly crawls out of the cage.
Now it slithers through the kitchen in search of food and water. The smell of moisture from the toilet or sink attracts the snake. It crawls into the bathroom and dives into the toilet bowl. Then, just like the python from earlier, it travels through pipes and finally finds the exit – in another apartment’s bathroom.
Such a case occurred in Russia, in the city of Perm. A woman noticed a python in her toilet bowl. Rescuers pulled it out and took it to the herbarium (the place where they keep snakes). Interestingly, the owner of the python turned up almost at once. He lived in the same building as the woman. He said that the python knocked out the terrarium’s roof glass and escaped.
By the way, snakes can escape not only from home terrariums but from zoos too. There were cases when snakes fell from tree branches directly onto a house’s roof or got into an apartment through air vents. There was a marten that entered an apartment this way. It was so scared that it smashed the whole kitchen before the rescuers arrived.
They caught the animal, took it to the forest, and let it go. Also, there was a case when a marten climbed into an apartment from the toilet pipe! Rats also fall into the sewer pipes. They rarely climb high up, and mostly get off on the ground floor. Pythons get lost in the sewers while hunting rats, and they appear in your home by sheer chance.
But rats do it on purpose: they know there is a lot of good food in your apartment. Sometimes they even manage to get into the kitchen. Rats and mice are well-known maze runners, so traveling through the sewers is a piece of cake for them. And rats may also come with the company. They appear out of the toilet or sink.
In some countries, such as Australia, funnel-web spiders can enter the sewers. They don’t know how to swim but can stay in the water for 30 hours. Frogs can easily end up in your bathroom too. Of course, they’re not so scary as rats, snakes, or spiders, but anyway, these croaking critters aren’t welcome guests in the toilet.
Another animal that could theoretically end up in the sewers is an octopus. As you know, these are very smart creatures, and they have tried to escape from the zoo’s aquariums or houses many times. Octopuses can think up a real escape plan and slip out of the aquarium when you replace the filter for example.
Unlike other “toilet” inhabitants, octopuses don thave skeleton, so they can squeeze into any gap. Fortunately, there aren’t known cases where an octopus ended up in someone’s toilet. I’ll say it again: there’s almost zero chance that an uninvited guest will appear in your bathroom. But if this happens, here’s what to do: First, try to flush the animal.
Obviously, though, if it’s a python, then it won’t help. By the way, that man from Thailand, who was bitten by a python, grabbed the animal and tied it to the doorknob so that it wouldn’t float away. If you don’t have a snake-grappling training, then immediately close the bathroom door and call the rescuers. If this is some small creature, like a rat or frog, then wash it off.
Thanks to the fat on their fur, though, rats float in the water easily. In any case, you need to close the toilet lid so that the animal doesn’t get into the apartment. Call rescuers or pest control. Also, there are ultrasonic devices that produce a low-frequency sound. People don’t hear it, but it’s making rodents go nuts.
If it’s on, they will stay away from your apartment. And if you live close to nature, especially in hot countries, not far from the jungle, I can only advise you to be vigilant every time you go to the bathroom.