By Andrea Romano
January 02, 2020

It’s true that people get a bit squeamish when they think about snakes on a plane, and apparently, even a drawing of a snake can cause some problems for passengers.

According to Daily Mail, a 10-year-old boy in South Africa was asked to remove his t-shirt before getting on a flight because it had an image of a giant snake on it. The boy, Stevie Lucas, and his family were traveling from Wellington, New Zealand and had stopped at O.R. Tambo airport in Johannesburg, South Africa when the incident occurred on Dec. 17, the Daily Mail reported. The family was about to board a flight to George, South Africa.

A King Cobra is displayed to the public at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm on August 2, 2016 in Bristol, England.
Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Stevie’s parents, Steve and Marga, said security officers told the boy to change his shirt or he would not be permitted on the plane because it could “harm passengers or crew by causing anxiety,” according to the Daily Mail. For this reason, security officers told the family that all snake toys and clothing are prohibited, according to the Independent.

The shirt in question is solid black and has a large, green snake on the front, looking as if it is crawling over the boy’s left shoulder. It’s a somewhat realistic graphic, but not exactly something that someone would mistake for a real snake. But we suppose "Snakes on a Plane" was a little more traumatic for some people.

The boy’s father decided to have Stevie turn his shirt inside out to avoid “drama,” the Daily Mail reported. The Independent reported that there is security footage of the boy taking off his shirt and turning it inside out.

“Security officers have the right to determine if an object has the potential to harm fellow passengers and crew members by causing certain objects or prints to be anxious,” a spokesperson for O.R. Tambo airport told the Daily Mail.

Occasionally, people’s outfits can cause problems for them when they fly. Only a few months ago, singer Aubrey O’Day said she was asked to turn her shirt inside out in front of passengers and crew because it apparently had an obscenity written on it.