We have a heaping helping of NOPE with a capital NOPE, weirdos.
Even though Monday, the 20th of October is best remembered for the Patterson-Gimlin film, mainstream media has seen fit to give all the attention to spiders.
The first reason to turn on the light is Piotr Naskrecki stumbling upon a Goliath birdeater spider, Theraphosa blondi, in Guyana. Sorry but it’s not a cryptid, but an established, yet rare, specimen during a night time stroll in the jungle. Innocent Piotr thought he stumbled upon a cute little mammal, but flicking on his flashlight he spotted this gigantic abomination.
Of course there are tales of far larger arachnids in the world, and no one better than Karl Shuker to collect them in his book Mirabilis, and at his blog ShukerNature. For example, Reginald and Margurite Lloyd say they encountered a gargantuan spider with a meter-wide leg span back in 1938. Another disturbing anecdote comes from Viet Nam.
This person stated that their father-in-law claims that while serving in the jungles of Vietnam during the Vietnam War as part of a five-man unit conducting scout work there, he encountered spiders with bodies the size of dinner plates, and, with their legs, yielding a total span of 20-30 in. These terrifying arachnids were always spied near to creeks or other water sources, and were so tough that even after being shot by him and the other men with their M16s and unloaded full magazines, they were still moving around.1
Joining this terrifying menagerie is a Brazilian Wandering spider, genus Phoneutria,2 hiding with an egg sac in a bunch of bananas in south London. The Independent shares the harrowing account.
The expert killed the spider’s eggs by putting them in a freezer, and eventually found and trapped the spider in a plastic box, after a standoff in which the arachnid stood on its back legs and held its front legs straight in the air, exposing its fangs in an aggressive attack stance.3
The Brazilian Wandering spider is considered to be highly venomous by experts. But take heart, many arachnologists insist that spiders do not bite humans. They suggest most ‘spider bites’ are misidentified and misdiagnosed by physicians tending their patients.45 Of course if a spider is sufficiently terrified, and the size of a dinner plate, there’s no reason to take any chances.
In the spirit of spiders (allegedly) being a peaceful sort, it makes plenty of sense that a new tarantula from Western Australia is being named after John Lennon.6 Fernando Perez-Miles and pals go on and on about its physiology, noting their unique palps, cuspules, and other science-y stuff. Regarding Bumba lennoni‘s behavior, these bad boys are nocturnal. No word if they sing songs about world peace and eschewing materialism while sexing up Asian chicks on a huge pile of money without a sense of irony.
it means murderess! ↩