Woman vows never to drive a car again after finding giant huntsman spider inside car door handle

A TERRIFIED lady says she “hasn’t driven in seven days” after she found a huntsman spider covering up in the HANDLE of her vehicle entryway.

Christine Jones, from Armidale in New South Wales, Australia, said she moved toward her vehicle and saw what she accepted were “bristly caterpillars” concealed under the handle.

Aussie Christine Jones said she thought "hairy caterpillars" were hiding under the handle of her car door

Aussie Christine Jones said she thought “hairy caterpillars” were hiding under the handle of her car doorCredit: Facebook / Christine Jones
But she realised it was a giant huntsman spider "at the last moment" as she went to grab the handle

But she realised it was a giant huntsman spider “at the last moment” as she went to grab the handleCredit: Facebook / Christine Jones

The vehicle owner revealed she had spotted the spider “at the last moment” before grabbing the handle.

Jones shared a photo of the creature, which can be seen hiding from plain sight, with the caption: “Thought it was hairy caterpillars at first.

“Haven’t used my car for a week.”

But a close up shows the hairy legs and body of a large arachnid, which has since been identified as a banded huntsman.

The post was shared on the Australian spider identification page on Facebook.

It was then confirmed to be one of the massive, crab-like spiders – which can have a leg span of up to 25 to 30cm.


WHAT are Huntsman spiders and how big do they get?

These massive, crab-like spiders can have a leg span of up to 25 to 30cm.

They normally live in small gaps in tree bark, but frequently wander into homes and cars in search of food. They move at lightning speed, can walk on walls and even ceilings, and jump huge distances suddenly.

Unlike other types of spider, they go out to stalk and kill their prey instead of spinning webs, feasting on insects and small animals like mice and lizards.

You don’t want to make a mummy huntsman angry – they defend their young fiercely, attacking and biting those who threaten them.

If they’re touched, they have a “cling” reflex and will hang on tightly. Shaking them off doesn’t work, but does make them angry and likely to bite.

Although usually found in the Southern Hemisphere, they have been known to stow away in cargo and arrive unexpectedly in Europe.  They wouldn’t last long in the winter cold of the UK though.

Despite their scary appearance and aggression, they shouldn’t cause too much alarm – their venom isn’t deadly to humans, although it has been known to cause headaches, vomiting, and heart palpitations

The image has been shared over 6,000 times and attracted hundreds of comments since it was posted on November 30.

Members of the Facebook page commented the large crawly appeared to be attempting to find shelter from the blistering heat.

Another shocked user said the creature would have “caused a heart attack”.

But one animal lover posted: “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.”

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