It might not have been a bomb threat, but for passengers with ophidiophobia — a fear of snakes — this would be their worst nightmare. On Sunday, TSA officers in Miami International Airport caught a passenger trying to sneak a python onto a plane, inside a computer’s hard drive.
Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokeswoman, told the Miami Herald that, “upon the TSA officer’s discovery of the organic mass, one of our TSA bomb experts was called into the baggage screening room to investigate the innards of the hard drive and that is when he discovered the mass was a live snake.” We can imagine it was one of the stranger things the bomb squad had encountered.
Koshetz added that previously, pet snakes have been known to escape in planes and chew through wires, which could cause problems for the aircraft, as well as health issues for the snake itself.
The passenger was fined and barred from boarding the flight to Barbados. Perhaps most upsetting to the passenger, however, was that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services took possession of the snake.
This isn’t the first time someone has tried to creatively sneak snakes onto a plane in Miami. In 2011, a man strapped snakes and turtles to his body in an attempt to make it through security, and in 2012 a woman tucked a snake into her bra at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. In both instances, the “accessories” were confiscated.