Bloke lets monster spider live in his house and says he hopes she ‘grows more’
A man and his family are living with a giant spider in his house and hopes to see his creepy-crawly housemate get even bigger.
Facebook commenters have been asking whether Jake Gray’s “pet” spider, named Charlotte, is real and whether he plans to burn his house down to eliminate the hand-sized beast.
Jake assured followers that she is absolutely genuine and he is very happy to have her in his house.
In fact, he says, after watching her grow over the past year he’s looking forward to seeing Charlotte "she will grow some more" in future.
The wild huntsman spider first appeared in Jake’s home in Cairns, Far North Queensland just over a year ago and after some initial shock, his kids Jack and Bella have got used to seeing the little monster scuttling around the house.
"We first spotted Charlotte 12 months ago and she was bigger than usual and over the year she would pop up," he told IFL Science, adding "seeing her eating an Asian house gecko was a highlight."
While Charlotte can be intimidating at first sight – a huntsman spider can grow to six inches across – they’re not as fearsome as they look.
The spider relies on its high speed to get out of danger, and will only rarely bite humans. Even then, you’re only likely left with a nasty nip rather than the severe consequences of a False Widow bite.
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Spider expert Linda S. Rayor writes that spiders are unlikely to hurt you and huntsman spiders "almost never bite humans since they rely on speed to escape most predators”.
She adds: “In 14 years of studying Aussie huntsman spiders, I’ve handled many thousands of individuals and been bitten only 11 times when I (mostly) deserved it."
But seeing the outsized arachnid munching on a lizard or running along carrying a mouse – they’re incredibly strong for their size – can still be pretty shocking.
And indeed, the people of social media were in no doubt what Jake should do about his unusual housemate.
One wrote: "I know that spiders are helpful and mostly don’t care about humans, but I'd still burn the whole damn house down”.
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