A crippling fear of spiders is one of the most common phobias on Earth, and to be honest, I’m not at all surprised. According to a study conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, one in 10 people in the U.S. suffer from a phobia and, of that 10 per cent, up to 40 per cent of those phobias are related to bugs.
There are very few people out there who harbour friendly feelings towards eight-legged critters, and I can confidently say that I’m not one of them. Just the mere sight of some hairy creepy-crawlies scuttling across the floor or climbing up the wall is enough to put me in a cold sweat.
Since I live in a temperate climate, I’m seldom exposed to any kind of dangerous arachnid. Most spiders in my ecosystem are fairly wimpy bugs, which are non-venomous and relatively placid, but in warmer climates, particularly in Australia, it’s a different story.
Terrifyingly enough, Down Under it’s pretty routine for Australians to have to deal with the sort of fanged chitinous horrors that make movie monsters such as Shelob from Lord of the Rings look as cute as a newborn kitten.
If you want proof, then look no further than the following video, which appears to show a gigantic huntsman spider crawling down a French window. I hope those poor people have got a few cans of Raid handy. That thing looks like it isn’t going to go down without a fight…
The following video was taken by Lauren Ansell who hails from Mount Coolum in Queensland, Australia. Lauren was cooking dinner when she spotted a gargantuan huntsman spider climbing down her glass door. She managed to snap a few pics of the mighty behemoth, as well as an eight-second video in which her partner held their house cat up to the creature in order to compare size.
Lauren later claimed that the arachnid initially seemed benign, but appeared skittish and aggressive when they attempted to dislodge it from the door. “My partner was on the outside trying to cook our food. We didn’t want to kill it, but it didn’t like us for trying to move it along,” she stated. “It’s still alive and happy. I nicknamed it Aragog. It’s in the garden and we haven’t seen it since. It’s massive and was mean, but it’s alive and we didn’t want to kill it.”
Huntsmen spiders are also known as “giant crab spiders” due to their size and frightening appearance. They favour shaded, wooded areas and inhabit Australasia, Africa, Asia, the Americas and parts of the Mediterranean Basin. However, they have also been known to stow away aboard ships when fleeing cold winters, so have sometimes cropped up in unexpected places.
Huntsmen are quite venomous, but bite only when threatened, and their bites are not considered particularly dangerous to humans. They mostly feed on other pests such as flies, cockroaches and crickets.
It has been theorised by zoologists that huntsman spiders usually attack humans only when their egg sacs are at risk of being destroyed. You can learn more about this terrifying and fascinating species by visiting this page.