A 10-year-old boy from New Zealand was forced to remove an 'anxiety-causing' shirt by airport security.
The incident took place in South Africa where Stevie Lucas and his parents were vacationing. He was visiting his grandparents in the rainbow nation, where his mother is originally from, the NZ Herald reported, but things took a surprising turn when he went to board a flight at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on December 17.
There, Stevie was told by airport security that he had to remove his shirt, which was adorned with a large, realistic print of a snake because it might make his fellow passengers uncomfortable.
After receiving this bizarre request, Stevie's parents suggested turning his shirt inside out to hide the snake, so that's exactly what he did, and he was allowed to board the flight without any further issues.It's understandable why people have such a fear of these creatures. This woman was bitten by a snake while sleeping:
When the request became public, the airport defended its decision to question what the boy was wearing, claiming that it was done in the best interests of other passengers.
"Security officers have the right to determine if an object has the potential to harm fellow passengers and crew members," an airport representative said, as per the Daily Mail.
Needless to say, people had a lot to say about the request on social media.
One Twitter user wrote: "The world's gone crazy, what is the reason for this? How is a picture of a snake on a T-shirt going to cause anyone any problems or offence?"
A second remarked: "Slytherin House objects most strenuously."
Meanwhile, a third agreed with the security guard's decision, writing: "I also agree with the security on this one, this is very scary indeed."
The family, however, was unphased by the incident and on their return to New Zealand, "proposed a toast" to their trip.And for another snake encounter that'll make your skin crawl, check out this diver's underwater face-to-face meeting with an anaconda: