Posted by: David Harley | September 18, 2015

Arachnophobia and the fear of hoaxes

Today I came across a photo of what was alleged to be an Australian Bird Eating Spider, making the human hand next to it looking pretty puny. And naturally, I was curious to see if the photograph was genuine. (Sorry, but I haven’t been able to find it again so you can check it yourself.)

I’m not a fan of spiders and make no claim to be any sort of zoologist, so I can’t say for sure that what I was looking it was really Phlogius crassipes (probably better known to its friends – if any – as the Eastern Tarantula),  but it did resemble some of the photographs Google found for me, and apparently it can grow up to 9 cm, which its leg span can extend to 23 cm, which is a little over 9 inches. Certainly bigger than my own delicate little Jimmy Shand.

However, I came across a hoax concerning Camel Spiders (or Wind Scorpions). Not actually spiders, but solifugae, though they are, like spiders, arachnids. And that led me to a whole page about Spider Hoaxes and Myths. I can’t vouch for its accuracy in every respect, but it’s certainly more fun than removing incredibly large spiders from the bath. And it might just come in handy sometime.

David Harley

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