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Stormtrooper armour protects charity hiker from deadly snake bite

A man hiking around Australia in full Imperial Sandtrooper armour has survived an encounter with one of the world's deadliest snakes, and he has his Star Wars costume to thank.

Scott Loxley on his charity hike around Australia.Storming Australia

The Imperial Army certainly built their Desert Stormtroopers to withstand the toughest conditions, but the ruthless soldiers of Star Wars never had to use their armour to keep out deadly snakes. Until now.

"Star Wars" fan Scott Loxley has spent the recent southern-hemisphere summer hiking around Australia to raise money for a children's hospital in his home town of Melbourne, Australia, all while wearing a full Imperial Sandtrooper costume. The hike is due to take 18 months and cover 15,000 kilometres (9,000 miles) with the hopes of raising AU$100,000.

As a member of the international not-for-profit Star Wars costuming organisation, the 501st Legion, Loxley's armour is about as close as you can get to the real deal. But not only is he braving temperatures of up to 50°C (122°F) as he hikes along the side of the road each day, he's now faced another test -- a bite from one of the deadliest snakes in the world.

In one of his usual video updates for his Facebook page, Loxley took a typically laid-back Australian approach to the incident, talking about the weather and the town's he was due to visit next, before casually mentioning the deadly encounter.

I'm walking up the hill and I see a snake on the side of the road...but I thought, 'Oh he's another dead snake' so I continued to walk past him. Turns out he wasn't dead...and he's lunged at me and bit me.

But the good news is...he bit me in the shin, and the armour actually protected me and stopped the bite. I could feel the teeth on the plastic scraping, but the armour actually stopped something.

Loxley was also keen to tell the naysayers just how tough the armour of the characters in "Star Wars" is actually built.

All those people that rag on the old Stormtroopers, you know, 'The armour doesn't do this, it does do that' -- it stopped a snake bite and probably saved my life today. So yeah, today's a good day and I'm pretty happy -- that's the first time on this trip a snake's actually bitten me and gotten away with it.

It wasn't Loxley's first brush with a deadly Australian creature either. The night before his reptilian encounter, he slept surrounded by poisonous cane toads, and earlier in his trip he swam with a massive salt-water crocodile. In full armour.

Loxley may potentially be even tougher than the Sandtroopers of Star Wars -- of the 25 world's deadliest snakes (the King Brown or Mulga snake ranks number 20), all but 5 of those species live in Australia. They never saw anything like that on Tatooine.