Swimmers were quick to exit a public pool on Wednesday after a snake was spotted slithering along the water's surface so fast some joked it should be "in the fast lane".
Yet while a video of the encounter proved amusing for some, a snake catcher has revealed there may be a more distressing reason behind the snake's frantic movements.
The pool, in Mullumbimby in NSW's Northern Rivers region — was hosting a children's birthday party, with the snake's unexpected appearance causing quite the splash as a mum filmed the snake move across the swimming lanes.
The footage was uploaded online and many admitted they would be "terrified" to catch sight of a snake inside a pool they were swimming in.
"Their swimming capability is incredible," one woman wrote online, while another joked the pool staff could have announced a "code brown".
Why would a snake be inside a swimming pool?
Despite the belief the snake was "just cooling off" in the extreme heat battering parts of the country right now, a snake catcher confirmed the "common" sighting of a snake inside a swimming pool tends not to be because they want to regulate their body temperature.
"There's a number of reasons why snakes would go into the water," Cory Kerewaro from Reptile Relocation Sydney told Yahoo News Australia. "They might want a quick drink and depending on the type of snake. They might want to feed... pools attract frogs and things like that."
Snakes can easily drown inside swimming pools
Snakes prefer to seek shelter in dry, shaded areas and often, when one is found inside a swimming pool, it's likely to have "accidentally fallen in" which can be deadly if the reptile is unable to escape.
"They've got nothing at the borders of the pool so they can get stuck in the pool and it's not their choice to stay there, they physically can't get out," Cory said, confirming he had retrieved two snakes from different swimming pools just a day prior. "Some places where people have left a pool noodle or body board, you'll find a snake sitting on top of that trying to keep dry."
Onlookers said the snake inside the swimming pool looked as though it was "having trouble getting out" and appeared "disorientated", before scaling a swimming pool platform and escaping to nearby bush.
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