It's every ophidiophobe's worst nightmare. Helen Richards was taking a late-night trip to the bathroom when she received a nip on the backside from a snake lurking in her toilet bowl.
You'll be pleased to know both Richards and the snake in question made it through the incident (almost) unscathed. Luckily for us, the snake catcher that was called in to deal with the situation has since shared the story on Facebook.
According to the post, Richards – a resident of Chapel Hill, Brisbane, Australia – went for a whiz in the dark and was caught "mid-stream". Unfortunately, the snake's "preferred exit point" was blocked and so, spooked by Richards, it lashed out in fear. Hence, the bite.
"It showed no defensive behaviour after this point," the snake catcher adds.
At first, Richards thought it was a frog, but on closer inspection, she realized that it was in fact a carpet python. And so, she called in snake catchers.
Fortunately, Richards remembered not to flush the toilet, which could have prompted her scaly friend to retreat further into the pipes. This meant it was a relatively easy job for the snake catchers to extricate the serpent from the bowl.
"The snake was safely removed and relocated, and the customer handled the situation like an absolute champ, having a sense of humour about it the entire time," the snake catcher continues.
"She said her toilet habits have forever changed! Lights will be on, and she will always give the bowl a quick glance before sitting down."
Carpet pythons like this one are not venomous, but they can reach lengths of 3.5 meters (11 feet), making them a pretty terrifying sight if you happen to stumble across one out of the blue. And while they don't pose much of a threat to humans, they have been known to swipe cats, dogs, and other small animals for dinner. They also have an uncanny ability to hide in plain sight.
"While we don't catch snakes in toilets every single day, it is quite a regular occurrence," the snake catcher explains.
Their advice? "If you find a Carpet Python in your toilet, don't poke and prod it, don't continue to flush the toilet. If you do these things, it increases the chances of us not being able to access the snake if it retreats further into the pipe. Put the lid down, secure it, and call a snake catcher."
Despite Australia's reputation as the place where every creature (land and sea) is out to kill you, death by snake (or spider, for that matter) is extremely rare. The Land Down Under may be home to 100 or so venomous snakes, but there were only 35 deaths recorded by the National Coronial Information Service between January 2000 and December 2016.
In terms of health and safety, it is really the horses and cows you have to watch out for.