Passengers waiting at a US airport saw more than they'd ever bargained for when a naked man attempted to purchase tickets.

The man, who US media reported was named Eric Cherry, was photographed by another passenger while waiting in line stark naked at the American Airlines counter at Nashville International Airport.

Witness Tod Brilliant posted the photographs on Facebook shortly after the incident occurred on Sunday.

So this just happened at Nashville airport. I walked up to him and said "You're amazing." He replied, "Thanks." Then...

Posted by Tod Brilliant on Sunday, February 21, 2016

"I walked up to him and said "You're amazing." He replied, "Thanks." Then they came for him," he wrote on the post.

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Cherry was quickly removed by local police and arrested for public indecency.

He had parked in the airport's parking garage, where he undressed before entering the airport, USA Today reported.

Brilliant told the Herald that the man believed himself to be Christ and was attempting to buy tickets to Israel.

He wanted to "arrive pure," he said.

A spokeswoman for the airport told the Tennessean the man had tried similar stunts on "a handful" of other occasions.

- nzherald.co.nz