Jason Womal

Watch this giant Australian spider drag a mouse up a refrigerator and into your nightmares

Pizza Rat has nothing on this guy. 

FIONA MACDONALD
25 OCT 2016
 

Everyone knows that Australia's spiders can be pretty terrifying, but this new footage released over the weekend takes things to the next level.

The video shows a giant huntsman spider dragging a full-grown mouse straight up a fridge, and then attempt to eat it. NBD.

 

The footage was posted on Facebook by Jason Womal, who lives in the town of Coppabella in central Queensland, to the north east of Australia.

"So I am just about to leave for work about 00:30 and me neighbour says, 'You want to see something cool,' and I say 'Hell yeah'. So we proceed to his place and he shows me this. Huntsman trying to eat a mouse," Womal wrote.

What's perhaps most terrifying about this video is the fact that huntsmen spiders are one of the most common types of spiders found in Australian homes.

The name is given to more than a thousand separate species of spiders belonging to the family Saparassidae, which are found across Australia, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Americas.

It's not been officially verified what the species in this video is, but it appears to be a banded huntsman, whose leg span can grow as large as 16 centimetres (6.3 inches).

 

Huntsmen are also sometimes called crab spiders because of how they look (basically, terrifying), but they get the name 'huntsman' because they don't build webs - instead, they choose to quite literally hunt down and kill their prey.

But while huntsman usually prey on insects such as crickets and cockroaches, they're not known for targetting food quite this big.

Luckily, huntsmen aren't considered venomous or dangerous to most humans, although they can deliver a painful bite.

In smaller animals, their bite can cause paralysis to make prey easier to digest, and this might have happened to the mouse in this video. You can see the spider dragging it back to a dark, quiet spot at the top of the fridge to eat.

Helen Smith, an arachnid expert from the Australian Museum, told Bonnie Malkin from The Guardian that the mouse might have already been dead, and the spider was just taking advantage of the find.

"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," said Smith. "I am ... suspicious because the mouse’s tail looks quite stiff - as though it has been dead some time."

But the manager of the Australian Museum's arachnid collection, Graham Millage, admitted it wasn't unheard of for spiders to target larger vertebrates.

"This is the first time I’ve seen one catch a mouse, but I have seen huntsmen catch geckos. I’ve seen a redback spider catch a snake in its web, I’ve seen a golden orb spiders catch birds," he explained to Malkin.

It's unclear what happened to the mouse in the video - and whether it was dead or alive in the first place. But either way, that huntsman definitely makes lifting him vertically up a fridge look like easy work.

And Womal has since offered an update on the spider, which survived the incident.

"We have named him Hermie, we have adopted him and he is now running his own extermination business out of our town Coppabella," joked Womal on Facebook. "Oh and he is now paying rent."

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