The Spider-verse has made spiders look charismatic. But, in reality, these eight-legged crawling creatures are anything but normal. And when encountering such venomous creatures, people always end up thinking, ‘What to do’.
A similar dilemma arose for Debbie Ellwood, a resident of Australia who found a pregnant spider in her office on September 18, 2023. And not just any other spider, but a gigantic one.
Ellwood works in Central Queensland, the heart of the country and also the place that houses more than six common varieties of spiders, in a small trade business. For those who do not know, Australia houses many species of corals, animals, and underwater life. It sees many terrains that house species like Redback Spiders, Huntsman, and White-Tailed Spider, among many more.
The tactile feeling of having a humongous creature run down your forearm makes you uncomfortable and scared. The same was the case for Debbie, who found the creature near her binder.
She spoke to People and said, “I was on a handheld phone when I picked up a ring binder folder and the spider jumped out as I opened it and it ran down my forearm and onto my desk,” her anxiety was visible in her words. When asked further, she said, “We don’t get too many spiders in this area, most of the large dangerous ones are in the cooler states.But it is possible for them to hitch rides on freight.”
This brings us to a greater concern. While Australia houses more than 2000 spiders who are harmless, precautions like window strips, fly screens, and door strips will allow one to be safe. But Australia is also known for many domestic-based entries of wild creatures like snakes in washrooms, kangaroos on aloof roads, and more.
But for Ellwood, it was a first, and seeing the creature got her startled. She took pictures to show around and find out what to do. People describes the pictures as, “In photos taken by Ellwood, who was alone when she made the discovery, the creepy crawly can be seen next to a pink stapler and paperclip in her office.” For us, we feel it was just a lost creature finding its way out. An expecting mother, she was at the peak of her defensive instincts.
But how did Debbie go about it? People said, “Ellwood was able to remove the spider with the help of a colander, a calendar and her laptop.” Newsweek and People also further reported, “Ellwood then took pictures of the spider and sent them to her family to see if anyone could identify it.”
But then she approached her niece Tina Bates, who uploaded the pictures to a Facebook group called Australian Spider Identification. She captioned, “Hi everyone, my Aunty found this spider in her office in Mackay QLD. It was relocated safely, outside in a colander so she didn’t have to touch it. Does anyone know what type it is?”
Many people jumped with replies like a Jungle Huntsman. Towards the end, Ellwood is happy, and People quote her saying, “Glad I never hurt the spider.” She also told Newsweek, “It wasn’t easy to be brave,” But what did the Australian museum say? They claimed these creatures were harmless.
They said, “As with most spiders, they do possess venom, and a bite may cause some ill effects. However, they are quite reluctant to bite and will usually try to run away rather than be aggressive.” But it is on us to decide their levels of danger. Avoid contact or fidgeting with creatures, and let us be kind.