In further proof that everything is stranger and more terrible in Australia, footage of an enormous banded huntsmen spider dragging a dead mouse up a fridge in Coppabella, Queensland, went viral on social media this weekend. Pizza rat has never felt so quaint.
It is unclear whether the spider – nicknamed Hermie by the surprisingly cavalier humans who discovered and proceeded to videotape it, rather than burning their house to the ground, collecting an insurance payout and moving abroad – actually killed the mouse. But arachnid expert Helen Smith of the Australian Museum said probably not.
“I would be very surprised if a huntsman would attack a mouse and even if it did, that the venom would be sufficient to kill it fast enough for the spider to still have hold of it,” Smith told The Guardian.
Nevertheless, banded huntsmen, which can grow to have a legspan of over 16 cm, have been known to catch other vertebrates, including geckos. So perhaps we shouldn’t be shocked that this gnarly predator has developed an appetite for the occasional dead mammal.
I might point out that humans are also vertebrates, also mammals, also live inside houses, and from time to time drink themselves into a cold stupor and appear dead. I’m starting to feel like Australia’s policy of censoring TV shows that paint arachnids as unthreatening creatures is spot on. [The Guardian]