A woman has received the shock of a lifetime after finding a potentially deadly snake just chilling underneath her beach towel.
Shocked beachgoers were forced to flee after she discovered the metre-long snake while sunbaking on a beach in Perth.
Sisters Lisa Houlihan, 31, and Nicki Rocca, 20, were at Hamersley Pool in North Beach, when they filmed the terrifying spectacle.
"We were just sitting there on the beach and suddenly it came sliding along past everyone and then ended up under a lady's towel,” married mum-of-one Lisa says.
"We all jumped up and headed to the car park. Eventually a guy went over and lifted the towel up. The snake stayed there for a while and eventually it took off.”
Lisa estimated there were about 20 people, half of them children, at the secluded beach on Sunday morning when the snake was spotted at 11am.
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They watched on shocked as the serpent, believed to be a dangerous Dugite snake, eventually slithered away.
The Dugite, which is native to Western Australia, is considered extremely dangerous to humans because of its size and highly toxic venom.
Figures suggest dugite snakes are responsible for 70 per cent of all snake bites treated in hospitals in Perth, but there has only been one recorded fatality.
"We live in Australia, so there are always going to be snakes around. But you don't really expect to see one on the beach like that,” Lisa says.
"I don't think I'd have any issues with going back there again but my son was out snorkelling when it happened and he was a bit freaked out by it all."
Sister Nicki says the dramatic sighting would not put her off returning to her favourite beach.
"All of a sudden we heard this lady scream,” Nicki recalls.
"I was a bit shocked as I hadn't ever seen a snake in the wild like that before. It's a deadly snake so I was scared for the man moving the towel, but he did it at his own risk.
"It wouldn't put me off going to that beach, I love the beach and there are probably snakes wherever you are."
Ian Hunter, the City of Stirling's parks and sustainability manager, says snake sightings at Perth's beaches are common – especially during spring and summer.
"Natural areas such as coastal dunes, bushland and wetlands form part of the natural habitat for snakes,” he says.
"The occasional movement by snakes into adjacent areas that are used by the public is not unusual."
With additional reporting by Caters News.
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