Normally when somebody says 'you look radiant', it means you look good. But for one Chinese woman who rode through an X-ray machine, the compliment could be taken rather literally.

Surveillance footage captured in southern China last week went viral after people couldn't believe these bizarre (and eerie) images of a woman down on all fours, wearing high heels, and riding the full length of a conveyor belt inside a baggage X-ray machine at Dongguan Railway Station.

If you're wondering why somebody would voluntarily hitch a ride through one of these security scanners and unnecessarily expose themselves to whatever level of radioactive bombardment is unleashed inside these things, we may have an answer for you.

According to media reports of the incident, the unidentified woman fronted up at the station's baggage checkpoint at about 6pm last Sunday, and was notified by security that her handbag was required to travel through the machine so it could be scanned.

210 woman x ray china handbag 2(PearVideo/Facebook)

We've all had this happen to us and our personal property at some time or other, but it's fair to say that not all of us choose to respond like this individual did.

Instead of being separated from her handbag (unthinkable!), the woman promptly crawled into the X-ray machine and travelled through it with her highly prized purse – the value or contents of which must have presumably warranted such bizarre, excessive conduct.

Footage of the episode shared by PearVideo shows the woman emerge unscathed from the X-ray machine, while a security guard who witnesses her behaviour laughs in spite of himself.

After the video went viral, the guard's employers were not similarly amused.

"This is not the kind of joke that should be taken lightly," a spokesman for the railway station said.

The state-run People's Daily concurred with the gravity of that assessment.

"Passengers are warned that not only is this kind of behaviour forbidden, but also the radiation from the machine is incredibly harmful to human health," the newspaper stated in a post on Facebook.

According to reports, many Chinese workers carry their annual earnings home in cash to their families during the Lunar New Year holiday, so it's possible that may have had something to do with the woman's unlikely act.

Or, she might have just been really attached to her handbag, and why shouldn't she be?

210 woman x ray china handbag 2(PearVideo/Facebook)

"Luxury bags make your life more pleasant, make you dream, give you confidence, and show your neighbours you're doing well," fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld once said.

In the case of this passenger, they also show the world you don't mind absorbing a little extra radiation dosage – as long as it means not being parted from that all-important, take-everywhere clutch.

"Though this was likely a dangerous and desperate moment," Aimée Lutkin at Jezebel wrote, "I can't help but feel admiration for her commitment, focus, and sheer grit."