The house was quiet. Too quiet. No, not really. It was just like most other nights, at first. Everyone was going about their own business. And then, someone went to do their business. Unfortunately, the toilet had a new resident that had recently decided to arrive unannounced and unnoticed. The house wasn’t so quiet anymore. A single scream shattered the nonexistent silence. The cavalry (aka myself) arrived to see what the fuss was about. Had a gecko fallen on someone’s lap? Was there a frog waiting for a butt-cheek hi five in the bowl? Had an axe murderer crept into the house?
No, a far worse fate (not really) had befallen the poor victim. He had shuffled forward to depants (read: remove his pants) and spotted a shadow out of the corner of his eye. Turning for a clearer view, the shadow moved and was revealed to be in fact, not a mere shadow, but a HUGE SPIDER.
Summoning the remainder of the household, said victim sheepishly peered out from across the hall and said, and I paraphrase, “Yea….wtf!” Now, we get some big spiders around here, but this one was goliath compared to them. Not quite the fabled dinner plate size but scary enough. Due to the way it stalked across the toilet floor like a tarantula, we weren’t actually sure if it was a huntsman or some other monster breed of spider. Huntsmen don’t usually stalk around like that. Here’s a picture of its size in comparison to the toilet roll on the holder it decided to scale after seeing it had an audience, in case you need further evidence.
Note the glowing eyes in those pictures. Positively evil! So. How did the household battle the spider and save the day? Less heroically than you’d think. No charging forward, swords at the ready (not that we keep swords handy for occasions like this) or flamethrowers. No heroic boot stomping either. No, the way it died was to ¾ of a can of insect spray. No joke, ¾ of a can. It just clung there to the precious roll of toilet paper and attempted to use it as a gas mask. Unfortunately for it, this tactic did not work and the insect spray actually proved as effective as the claims on the can. It’d want to be effective after releasing that much spray. We couldn’t walk into the toilet for hours or risk falling victim to noxious gas (which is usual for toilets, granted, but this was different). And even in death this spider clung heroically with one long and hairy leg to the toilet roll. And there it stayed until someone thought to put it in a container and ask a pest control guy what kind of spider it was. It was a huntsman spider, they have quite a variety of markings you see. Not deadly though, that scientists can tell. How do you deal with spiders? What’s the biggest one you’ve encountered?
You can’t make me let go!
That’s the end of this particular chapter in Creature Chronicles, but don’t worry, there are plenty more stories where that came from. In saying that though, I hope I’m not encouraging the view that Australia is full of nasty animals out to kill you. They’re here, but most aren’t out to kill you. Though maybe I should be perpetuating that stereotype, otherwise you’d all realise how nice it is here. The spiders, sharks, jellyfish, snakes and insects think so anyway.
Creature Chronicles is a new addition to the site, in which I recount stories of various encounters with wildlife. Because you want to know about wildlife, right? Right. Glad we got that sorted.