Calling all arachnophobes, this story could very well cause you some distress. In her house on Mount Coolum on Australia’s sunshine coast, one unlucky woman recently came across this absolute monstrosity. While her partner was setting up the barbecue outside, she found that an intruder was in the way. And what an intruder it was!
Clinging onto the patio door was a gigantic spider. In an interview with Sunshine Coast Daily, Laura Ansell said that the arachnid with its legs spread was ‘as big as an adult male’s hand.’ After the initial shock of the encounter, the couple tried to move their new guest so they could continue their evening. But the spider was less than obliging.
‘We didn’t want to kill it but she didn’t like it when we tried to move her,’ the young woman told the Daily Mail Australia. Finally, after trying to trap it in the patio door, the spider fell to the ground and fled to the garden.
A spider named Aragog
The photos and videos of the animal on social media sparked a lot of reaction amongst internet users, some of whom didn’t hold back in condemning the way the situation was handled. But, far from being traumatised by the situation, Laura Ansell explained that the spider was still ‘alive and happy.’
She even gave the creature a nickname, 'Aragog,' in reference to the giant spider in the second Harry Potter book. ‘She went into the garden and we haven’t seen her since,’ she said. Even though the spider seems to be gigantic, it’s not as unusual as it seems.
It is highly likely that the spider belongs to the Sparassidae family, a group of spiders that can be found all over the world. They are known for displaying their large bodies with their legs spread wide. More commonly known as hunting spiders, Sparassidae are very common spiders in Australia and are especially found in households where they hunt their prey, most often crickets and cockroaches.
Despite their gargantuan appearance, these spiders are not considered dangerous. Their bite is relatively harmless to humans. The problems caused by arachnids are mostly related to the compulsive reactions they trigger in those who are scared.