Urban Legends and Beliefs

Snakes in the toilet

A fear of snakes is among the oldest of all of humankind's basic fears, so it is likely that this urban legend grew out of the ancient warnings of primitive people to be cautious about the places they selected to relieve themselves when obeying a call of nature. As civilization progressed, the outdoor toilet was a place that often harbored snakes that would scare or bite a person, which would possibly lead to death. With centuries of apprehension about snakes it seems a natural progression to bring such primitive fear into man's modern plumbing and toilet facilities.

The story: Perhaps the most common version of this urban legend has someone with an enormous pet python moving into an apartment building. In order not to alarm his neighbors, the individual keeps the nature of his pet a secret from everyone. (Sometimes the story states that he or she is with a traveling circus and is only staying in the apartment for a few nights.)

One day, the snake fancier carelessly leaves the toilet lid up in his bathroom, and the big serpent wiggles its way into the bowl, enters the drain pipe, and emerges in the toilet of the next door apartment. The startled individual is horrified to see a monstrous snake suddenly rear its head from the toilet bowl, and as he runs from the bathroom, the mammoth python begins to slither its way into his apartment. This account usually ends with the frightened apartment dweller calling the zoo or the animal control center and a crew of men arriving to wrestle the monster python of 15 to 20 feet out of the building.

Another popular version of the story has a big snake somehow making its way into the plumbing system of an apartment house and moving through the pipes until it comes up for air in someone's toilet just as the person is about to use it. In some legends, the victim either dies of a heart attack or is bitten to death by the deadly reptile.

User Contributions:

Could you please tell me when and where these two "snake in the tiolet" incidents where reported? I am working on a assigment given to me by my english teacher; he wants me to get specific details and facts about snakes coming out of tiolets. Your's two stories are the most genuine off all therefor please give me the date and place info. Looking forward to your reply anxiously.
The BBC doesn't agree with you. bbc.com/news/magazine-36397505

"Stories of snakes navigating domestic plumbing are quite common, says Geoff Jacobs at Queensland Wildlife Solutions in Australia, who has run a snake-catching business in Brisbane for 20 years.

"The snakes just follow the trail of the rats," he says. "All over the world rats go down in sewers and the snakes go in there after them." And from there they can find your bathroom.

"There's only a small amount of water in the bottom of your toilet bowl. They come up through a dry pipe and there's a small bit of water in the S-bend - he's only got to go down an inch-and-a-half or two inches and straight back up, so its quite easy once they learn how to do it," says Jacobs.

He gets called out to remove at least four or five snakes from toilets each year- usually green tree snakes, common tree snakes or carpet pythons.

"It's the worst job. You get a toilet bowl that's been there 30 or 40 years - we see the bit that gets cleaned but the rest of it doesn't. When you go to pull the thing out of there, it's not fun. I usually have a bottle of disinfectant with me," he says. "You've got to grab the head or whatever you can get hold of and start dragging it out."

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