Millions of Americans are very afraid of spiders. This is a very common fear. According to data compiled by the Cleveland Clinic, as many as three to fifteen percent of the population is deathly afraid of our eight-legged friends. That’s a ton of people who would rather not interact with these creepy crawly creatures. However, one woman has come forward on social media to share how she has been living with a giant spider – and its massive size is quite the shocker.
While the spider has been freeloading – not paying rent or anything toward utilities – she has become part of the household. The family has named the giant spider Charlotte, after the book with the spider of the same name Charlotte’s Web.
Annette and her son, Jake, decided that they would allow the giant spider to live with them. Since giant spiders like Charlotte are a lot more common in their home country of Australia, they figured that another one would just take Charlotte’s place if they hired someone to get rid of her.
Fortunately, Charlotte looks a lot scarier than she really is. The resident, Annette Gray, believes that her spidery guest is a type of huntsman spider. These are gigantic arachnids that haunt the island nation of Australia.
Huntsman spiders are extremely large. Their legs span nearly thirteen centimeters when they are fully grown. These critters are harmless to people but not to their prey. Their venom is enough to paralyze the prey they usually like to eat, but this same venom would not cause much damage to a human.
Since huntsman spiders are not dangerous to people, Annette and her son, Jake, decided to let the uninvited guest stay for a while. For the last year, Annette has been sharing her home with the giant huntsman spider that she and her son named Charlotte.
“We’ve watched [Charlotte] grow over the last year or so,” Jake told The Dodo. “[She] never bothered us. She moves about the house, pops up room to room, eats all the bugs.”
Since the family let the spider stay, they’ve seen her legs grow in size. Now they’re as wide as fifteen centimeters across, which are more than six or seven inches. The family eventually decided that it would be fun to share images of their giant spider guest with the rest of the world via the internet.
People were delighted to see Charlotte living in the Australian household. While a lot of people shared that they would have never allowed such a big spider to stick around, others felt that it was endearing for Annette and her son to allow the spider to live in their house.
Some people were so scared of the images of Charlotte that they told Annette to burn the whole house down and get out of Dodge. But Annette is not afraid of Charlotte. Perhaps, it is because Annette is Australian and big spiders are common.
“I don’t kill them,” she wrote. “[Charlotte’s] harmless.”