For some people spiders have been a source of fear for years. But in reality, they deserve to instil a sense of amazement. There are plenty of reasons to love and not hate spiders, but let's start with just eight.
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Australia is infamous for its deadly snakes, spiders and sea creatures. One of the most notoriously dangerous is the redback spider, Latrodectus hasselti, which is similar to the widow spiders found in the United States and worldwide. What makes these creatures so feared is a combination of their potent venom and their preference for living near people.
You’re driving along and you open the sun visor. You’re cleaning at home and bump a painting hanging on the wall. Suddenly, out runs a huge, hairy spider. Australia’s huntsman spiders are the stuff of myths and nightmares. But these are also the most interesting of their family, and deserve their place in the pantheon of Australian wildlife.
Recent news reports that a man had both his legs amputated after being bitten by a white-tailed spider have again cast this spider in a negative light. Experts have since said amputations may have been wrongly blamed on a spider bite, and authorities now consider a bacterial infection to be responsible for the man’s injuries. Despite this, the damage to the largely harmless white-tail may have been done.
Australia is home to some of the most toxic spiders on the planet. Thankfully, the development of anti-venom has made fatalities and serious illnesses exceedingly rare. Nevertheless, there are some arachnids that you just don't mess with. This chart from Pest Control Warriors ranks the hairiest heavy-hitters: from the potentially deadly funnel-web spider to the non-poisonous but no-less terrifying huntsman.
It's every kid's dream come true and every arachnophobe's worst nightmare: Woolworths stores in NSW and Queensland are removing broccoli from sale following the discovery of redback spiders hidden inside the vegetables. In at least three separate incidents, customers spotted the venomous spiders nestled in florets, with one sharing the image on social media. In response, the grocery chain has ceased accepting produce from three suppliers.