We’ve all had the same fear. Going to the bathroom late at night and feeling something slithering around in the toilet bowl, only to get up and find that it’s a snake! But as common as this fear might be, can such a thing of a snake coming up the toilet pipe actually happen?
The answer to that is simple: while this is such a common fear as plenty of adults fear snakes, the chances of a snake slithering up out of your toilet is far rarer than being struck by lightning. But why is this a fear that’s so commonplace in society? While snakes slithering out of the toilet can happen, very rarely, of course, the few times it does happen it gets sensationalized to death.
In New York City in 2010, local newspapers devoted more column space than they’d ever had before to report on a three-foot corn snake that had climbed out of the toilet on the 18th floor of a building. In a Wall Street Journal interview, Jack Conrad, a herpetologist (someone who studies snakes) argued that it was “within the realm of possibility” that the corn snake had climbed its way out of that toilet pipe. Conrad pointed out that snakes of many varieties are good swimmers. Capable of holding their breaths for a long time while swimming upward in tight, narrow spaces. That’s a comforting fact to know, right?
However, there’s no guarantee that that particular snake made its journey out of the toilet through slithering up the pipe. As many snakes that are found aren’t native to the area they are found in. Unfortunately, the reality is that it’s much more common that such snakes were being raised by people, who abandoned the snakes once they grew to a size that their owners weren’t expecting. Or often times these snakes have escaped from wherever they were being held. Those scenarios are much more likely than a snake deciding to nest in a toilet pipe.
But how could a snake possibly end up in a toilet pipe in the first place? For a snake to enter a toilet pipe, it first would have had to get into a sewer pipe, which means that you might have a neighbor who secretly was keeping a scaly pet and wasn’t paying close attention to their sewer line. Then the snake would somehow have to enter your sewer pipe if it chooses to specifically target your toilet.
Otherwise, any snake that somehow ended up in a sewer main by accident would die of exposure. Due to the lower temperatures found in the ground where such sewer mains are located.
Now that you know it’s unlikely that you’ll wake up to see a snake slithering out of your toilet, of course, unless you have a neighbor that somehow has been keeping their scaly pet a secret. you can rest assured that there won’t be any snakes slithering out of your toilet any time in the future.