This Massive Spider Is Real and Apparently Very Gentle

Huge Huntsman Spider
Barnyard Betty's Rescue

Australia is the well-known home to some insane looking members of the animal kingdom. From the platypus to venomous centipedes, great white sharks, impossibly enormous snakes, and paralysis ticks, there's something out there for every phobia. That's why it's not surprising this surprisingly large spider was found in Australia. 

A photo of charlotte the huntsman spider on a broom was posted to the Facebook page of Betty's Barnyard Rescue about a year ago and because the internet is weird, it's suddenly become an online sensation. Charlotte was rescued and released at Betty's last October and they have assured awestruck gawkers the photos are not photoshopped. Charlotte is genuinely huge. 

In a post this week, the team at the rescue said they don't just rescue farm animals. "[Charlotte] was a beautiful, calm spider, not aggressive in any way and like most spiders she just wanted to go about her business eating bugs and living in peace," they wrote. "She didn't or doesn't need to be killed! Poor spiders are so misunderstood!"

The Australian Museum lists huntsman spiders as having an average body length of two centimeters. Graham Milledge, an arachnologist at the Australian Museum, told Mashable that this spider is a little different than the standard huntsman. "The spider in the photo appears to be a Giant Green Huntsman Spider, Typostola barbata," he said. "This is one of the larger species of huntsman spider found in Australia, with a leg span of over 20cm (7.8 inches), and is mainly found in eastern Queensland."

If that's not enough to give you chills, don't forget about that recent video of a huntsman spider carrying an entire dead mouse up the side of a refrigerator

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Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He holds a Guinness World Record, but has never met the fingernail lady. He’s written for Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, The Rumpus, and other digital wonderlands. Follow him @dlukenelson.