Straya: Mutant Three-Eyed Snake Found Slithering Down NT Highway
As if snakes aren't hellish enough, a baby carpet python has been picked up near the Northern Territory town of Humpty Doo, with an extra eye smack-bang in the middle of its forehead.
The bizarre-looking snake was 40 centimetres long, about three-months-old and had three functioning eyes -- that's right, functioning -- when rangers discovered it slithering along the Arnhem Highway in March.
They lovingly call it Monty and popped it through an X-ray scanner to work out what was going on.
It turns out Monty's deformity wasn't the result of two separate heads being forged together -- the snake was actually born with an extra eye socket and only a single skull.
"It was generally agreed that the eye likely developed very early during the embryonic stage of development," NT Parks and Wildlife posted on their Facebook page.
Monty has been met with a mixed reaction on social media.
One Facebook user mentioned the snake would be "a great detective". Another labelled it "the Australian Brandon Stark". A third said it "looks like ET"-- rude!
Some seemed to have missed the point of the post completely, laughing at the fact Monty was taken near a place called Humpty Doo -- fair.
But in all seriousness, it's a northern carpet python which are very common in Australia. They're non-venomous, can grow up to 3.5 metres in length, are usually active at night and tend to feed on small mammals and birds.
Apparently malformed reptiles are super common but a scroll through Google has revealed this snake could be a one of a kind in the Top End.
The sad news is, our scaley friend didn't last long, even in the care of Rangers he died just last week.
"It’s remarkable it was able to survive so long in the wild with its deformity and he was struggling to feed before he died," Ranger Ray Chatto told NT News.
Monty’s remains are now being kept at the CSIRO in Darwin.
Rest in peace, big guy.