Large poisonous spiders swarm in part of Australia
Although Australia is a spooky place full of leather cows, stinging trees and hawks that literally spread their own fire, we all know it’s a wonderful place to live. Even if parts of it are teeming with deadly poisonous funnel-web spiders; as they are right now, creating scenes straight out of a Stephen King novel. (At least the country’s beaches are still great when not infested with snakes.)
The Telegraph reported on the phenomenon, which began earlier this month after heavy rains and floods hit New South Wales. The state on Australia’s east coast is experiencing a surge in spiders as the summer weather warms up each year. Thanks to this year’s floods, however, the spider hordes are particularly large and invasive when looking for dry land.
Unfortunately, many of the spiders that invade human property are also exceptionally venomous. Dan Rumsey, director of reptiles and spiders at Australian Reptile Park, told Sky News Australia that the invading Sydney funnel-web spiders “are potentially one of the most dangerous spiders in the world, not just here in Australia”.
🇦🇺While #Australia has been hit by # floods, authorities are asking residents to be vigilant. The land could be invaded by Atrax robustus, a tarantula whose venom is very violent. Thousands of #insects have already hatched from the earth. pic.twitter.com/E4QWS3PbWY
– PacifiqueInfo (@PacifiqueInfo) March 24, 2021
The Sydney funnel-web spiders (or Atrax robustu) that Rumsey refers to are tarantula-like spiders that are native to the area. And while the spiders are not necessarily aggressive, they still carry extremely poisonous venom; In fact, it’s one of the deadliest for humans out there. In addition, funnel nets are notorious for searching for dry tracts of land in people’s backyards. Or even their houses. Which of course makes the arachnids ten times scarier.
Despite the freak factor here, however, Australia hasn’t had a single funnel-web death since scientists came up with an antidote. And people seem to be able to recover well from bites even in general, as long as they get to hospital on time. The floods that preceded the swarms of spiders, on the other hand, are quite dangerous: 40,000 people had to evacuate their homes as a result. On the positive side, however, the spiders are likely to disperse as the landscape dries up, and at the same time people are returning to their homes.