An Australian woman refused to use her car for a whole week after discovering a gigantic spider had set up camp inside her car door handle.
After nearly grabbing a hold of the spider in an attempt to open her car, Christine Jones, from New South Wales, posted her horrifying experience on Facebook. At first, she thought the critter was “hairy caterpillars” before realizing it was a huge spider.
“Haven’t used my car for a week,” Jones captioned, adding in the comments that she saw the spider “at the last minute” before grabbing hold of the door handle.
The page she posted on, Australian Spider Identification, had much to say about the encounter.
“That’s not your car any more,” wrote one user. “It has a new owner. Might as well hand the keys over.”
“As if 2020 wasn’t enough of a frightening year,” said another. “Now I need to check my car for spiders.”
Others who fathomed Jones’s terror dropped comments such as, “No noooo nope nooo no no nopety no,” and “OMG…. I would have had a heart attack!!!”
Cooler heads commented that the spider was most likely from the huntsman family, of which there are 155 species in Australia.
According to the Australian Museum, huntsman spiders are notorious for entering cars and houses, and they like to hide in dark places. They’re even known for terrifying unsuspecting drivers by hiding underneath sun visors.
While these spiders are often considered the most terrifying spiders in the country, they aren’t poisonous. Though due to their size, their bite can hurt quite a bit. The Australian Museum says that a cold compress is usually sufficient to relieve swelling and pain.
In all likelihood, this hairy giant was just cozying up for a nap.
Commenters also mentioned that anyone who encounters a huntsman spider can simply nudge the critter gently and encourage it to move on.
One user pointed out that the spider was probably hiding from the heat. “Poor thing might have been burning on the metal of the car and seeking shade … or something a bit cooler and got stuck there waiting it out after that heat over the weekend.”
“Get a twig or long stick and push it out,” one person advised.
“I reckon open the window, and invite her in,” another joked. “No more annoying bugs in the car.”
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