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Nightmare On Maningrada: Australian Town Overtaken By 25,000 Diving Tarantulas

Nightmare On Maningrada: Australian Town Overtaken By 25,000 Diving Tarantulas
Tarantula Anne Worner / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

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Nightmare On Maningrada: Australian Town Overtaken By 25,000 Diving Tarantulas

Halloween is still five months away, but the town of Maningrada in Australia experienced it early. Residents screamed and ran when over 25,000 of a new species of tarantulas overtook their town.

The nape-tingling eight-legged critters were spotted across a six-mile (10 kilometer) floodplain 500 kilometers outside of Darwin. Arachnologist Dr Robert Raven said the 25,000 figure was rather off-scale. “Normally, I find two or three hundred spiders in one spot,” he said.

A report by The Independent called the creepers the diving tarantula, so named because of its uncanny ability to survive underwater by creating air bubbles. They were discovered in 2006.

Asked what prompted them to come out from whatever hole or dungeon they were hiding, Raven said it could be two things – either “something is missing that would hammer them or there is something good [like a food source].”

Locals have nothing to worry about should they get bitten by the creepers. Although they have venom, the scale won’t be enough to kill a human, but only make them vomit for hours.

“One of the traditional owners was bitten in eastern Australia and had six to eight hours of vomiting,” Raven said. “These are not shallow bites. Long fangs can potentially do damage by ripping tissue.”

About Esther Tanquintic-Misa

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