And then came... Megaspider!
This article is more than 2 years old
The thought of getting bit by a small, poisonous spider is scary enough. Just ask Spider-Man. But what if your skin got pierced by the fangs of a spider that are as long as toothpicks? Zookeepers at the Australian Reptile Park saw those massive chompers for themselves when they received the largest spider ever donated to them, which they appropriately nicknamed “Megaspider.”
The Megaspider, a Sydney funnel-web spider donated to the zoo in New South Wales on November 12, measures 8 centimeters (3 inches) foot to foot, with its body being 5 centimeters (1.9 inches) long, and its fangs 2 centimeters (0.8 inches) long, according to a statement from the Australian Reptile Park. Its fangs are so long, they could bite through a human fingernail. To put it lightly, it’s the biggest spider the park has ever seen. See it for yourself in the video they provided below.
According to the Australian Museum, the average body length of the Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus) ranges from 1 to 5 centimeters, with males having a lighter build than females. This species, which the Megaspider belongs to, can be found anywhere from Newcastle to Nowra and as far west as Lithgow in New South Wales. They may be small most of the time, but they are the most notorious spiders in Australia, with the male spiders killing only 13 people to date.
That being said, the Australian Reptile Park is putting out a public appeal for the Megaspider’s anonymous donor to come forward. It said the gargantuan arachnid was dropped off at the zoo in a Tupperware without any labels signifying where it came from or who its donor was. Its size has piqued the interest of keepers to find out the area it originated from. They hope to find more large spiders because they produce larger amounts of venom than the other species of spiders, which is beneficial for their antivenom program.
Michael Tate, the education officer at the Australian Reptile Park, said that the Megaspider donation to the antivenom program is the most amazing thing he has ever seen in over 30 years working there. “She is so unusually large and if we can get the public to hand in more spiders like her, it will only result in more lives being saved due to the huge amounts of venom they produce,” he said. “We are really keen to find out where she came from in hopes to find more massive spiders like her.”
The funnel-web spiders are known to live near the water, especially since they’re found in areas sitting in close proximity to Sydney. Eight months ago, New South Wales was flooded to the point where the spiders were washed out of their burrows and forced to seek higher ground, infesting people’s suburban homes in the process. Those unlucky enough to see the spiders in their bedrooms or crawling up their garage doors had difficulty spotting the deadly ones since not all funnel-web spiders are dangerous. Although they have become a huge part of Sydney folklore, the funnel-web spiders remain a symbol of fear.