Life imitated art Sunday when a five-foot-long poisonous snake on a plane dropped from the overhead bin during an Aeromexico flight into Mexico City—a scene out of the 2006 movie Snakes on a Plane.
Eyewitnesses told Mexican newspaper El Debate that the snake slithered down from the overhead compartment and wriggled down the side of the passenger cabin before it fell onto a row of empty seats.
One passenger—a professor at Universidad Politécnica de la Región Laguna—captured a video of the incident that went viral from his social media accounts within hours.
The snake was believed to be a venomous green viper.
We know what you’re thinking at this point, and we thought it too. Still, Samuel L. Jackson did not appear out of thin air as Neville Flynn to kick some Viperidae ass and wax poetic about how fed up he was about the “motherf*cking snake on the motherf*cking plane.” Instead, according to reports, flight attendants notified the captain, who prepared the plane for an emergency landing and arranged for animal control to meet the flight on the tarmac and remove the serpent.
Videos from passengers on the flight showed that most people (inexplicably) remained relatively calm during the encounter. Unlike the movie, nobody in the real-life incident was injured or killed.
The flight took off from Torreon, a city in the state of Coahuila. The region is not known for a preponderance of poisonous snakes and none of the passengers declared a snake in his or her carry-on bags. In the movie, snakes were placed on the plane in an attempt to kill off a witness slated to testify against a mob boss.
A spokesperson for the airline told SFGate they were working to determine how the snake found its way into the cabin and how they can prevent this from happening again.
Our suggestion: Neville Flynn cutouts on every flight. Just a thought.
Matt Villano is a freelance writer and editor based in Healdsburg, California. In nearly 20 years as a full-time freelancer, he has covered travel for publications including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Sunset, Backpacker, Entrepreneur, and more. He contributes to the Expedia Viewfinder blog and writes a monthly food column for Islands magazine. Villano also serves on the board of the Family Travel Association and blogs about family travel at Wandering Pod. Learn more about him at Whalehead.com.