Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Defying Death on Holiday

Did you know there are a ridiculous number of things in Australia that can kill you?  Six of the ten deadliest snakes in the world are found here.  If the great white sharks don't get you, the box jellyfish might.  Look out for the giant salt water crocs, too.  Even the humble little platypus produces one of the most excruciating venoms known to man.  But perhaps the most frightening of all are the deadly spiders.

The problem with spiders is they can sneak up on you- any time, any place.   No warning, no sounds, no notice. 

This is scary enough when the sneaky arachnid is a (relatively) harmless huntsman.  We've had our share of those to deal with over the past 2 years.  But last week, in the midst of our farmstay holiday, I had an encounter with a real honest to goodness deadly Australian icon- the dreaded Sydney Funnel Web Spider.

I was in the lodge, minding my own business early in the morning.  I opened the curtains near the exterior door and that's when I spotted him.   I ran out to find a broom or something to shoo him away- leaving my frightened four year old whimpering on his bunk (bad mommy)!

My dear friend raced in with some bug spray and zapped him with a 30 second spray that gave her a raging headache for the day but barely stunned the creepy killer.

Finally, we located a broom and I whacked him and brushed him out of the room.  Even after all that, he was still moving around!  In the end, I had to stomp him.  It wasn't pretty- but a mother will do almost anything to save her child.

Everyone got a good look at him and we all agreed it was definitely a funnel web.  Surprisingly, I was too frightened and freaked out to grab my camera and take his picture, but he looked exactly like this:


After the whole incident was over I felt I had made it through some sort of Aussie rite of passage.  I survived an encounter with one of the world's deadliest creatures and went on with enjoying our holiday.  I feel almost as Australian as the crocodile hunter.

6 comments:

Jesica said...

Holy shit. That's all I have to say. Holy shit.

Sarah Stewart said...

Oh my - yuck! I have yet to see one and I have to say I am in no rush....

Mimi and Joe said...

Yeah... Pretty much what Jessica said...

ladyliberty said...

O M G. Thanks for the nightmares about this horrifying creature. Glad you survived! :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

You are so brave, Ms Crocodile Dundee :)

Tar Heels in Sydney said...

Glad that turned out OK! Keeps the Huntsman in perspective for sure!

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