It's not every day that homeowners replace their heating system, which may explain an extraordinary discovery in a Falmouth home.

Engineer Nathan Bentley was dismantling a shelf upon which the tank sat, only to be confronted with a dead snake, which had curled up for warmth at some point in the distant past.

"I had to cut the shelf in half in order to take out the tank which was in quite an awkward spot and I found the little guy, which was presumably once someone's pet," said Nathan, aged 33.

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"It would have been almost impossible to find it without pulling apart all the pieces of the tank and shelf. It wouldn't have made any noise while it was up there, so I reckon someone lost their snake at some stage."

James Wilson and Natasha Ratcliffe, owners of the property in Webber Hill for two years, said their one year-old son Arlo was fascinated by the find.

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"He keeps walking over towards it, hissing and pointing, then he says that the snake is sleeping. The first thing he did when he woke up this morning was to ask to see it," they said.

Nathan, who has owned a corn snake as a pet, believes it is either a carpet or Royal python. It is around three and a half foot long and dark in colour. The picture above shows the curled-up snake next to a 16-inch ruler.Falmouth Packet:

Natasha said that before they bought the house at number 3, the previous landlord had rented it to various tenants for many years.

"It must have belonged to someone, I don't think it would have come from the pub next door. Snakes will look for warmth - I had a friend who found theirs curled up inside a radio," she said.

The Falmouth Packet would like to hear from anyone who believes that the snake belonged to them. Contact Matt Dixon at or call 01326 213338.