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When You Find 15 Pythons in Your Home’s Pipes, Maybe It’s Time to Move

Suddenly, the bathroom seems pretty terrifying again.

by VICE Staff
15 January 2019, 11:00am

Image courtesy humasjakfire

It's no secret that life in the Indonesian capital can be difficult. Jakartans have to deal with some of the worst traffic in the world, annual floods that soak our streets, and even haunted office buildings, if you believe in that sort of thing. But at least we never had to worry about snakes in our toilets... until now.

South Jakarta's fire department recently pulled an entire nest of pythons out of the plumbing of a city home. Wait, how many snakes are in a nest, you ask. Fifteen. That's fifteen disgusting shit slithering serpents in a home's pipes. If that doesn't make you terrified to take a seat on the porcelain throne, then you're a much braver person than any of us. I mean, just take a look at these things:

The largest python was apparently the nest's mother who measured a shocking four meters long. It took a team of eight men, some of them digging as deep as five meters, to find and remove the snake nest.

"Locals reported that a python had made its nest in the plumbing system of the house, where 15 pythons were found," Musonip, the leader of the team that removed the snakes, told "Then we pursued the mother."

Now, although Jakartans haven't had to worry much about snakes in their toilets in recent years, the idea that there are some pretty massive—and massively dangerous—secretly living right here in the middle of Southeast Asia's largest city. During the rainy season, city workers have found pythons and massive monitor lizards in the gutters of some of Jakarta's ritziest neighborhoods.

And last year, we had not one, but two, crocodiles swimming through the city's rivers and canals. Jakarta can be a pretty wild place and, thanks to some of the quirks of the city's patchy public services, it's bound to get worse.

Trash collection services are spotty in the city, which has led to an abundance of very fat, very tasty—if you're a snake—rats. Basically, we're bound to have a lot of snakes as long as we have a lot of rats. And in most instances, that's a good thing because there would be even more rats running wild in our streets if we didn't have all these snakes.

"When the prey are there, the predators will follow," Amir Hamidy, the head of the herpetology department at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) told the site Indonesia Expat. "Jakarta is having a domino effect on the surrounding ecosystem."

So while no one likes to see sights like this, the reality of a Jakarta without huge rat-eating snakes is likely far, far worse.

And, hey, at least these pythons were caught before they slithered into someone's bathroom. Cities in Thailand have a serious snake problem of their own, and there these sewer pipe serpents often aren't found until someone takes a seat on the toilet and learns the hard way.