Enormous stowaway spider hitches ride to UK from Australia

"He was about the size of my two hands put together."
Credit: RSPCA

An enormous stowaway spider has survived a 10,000 mile journey from Australia to the UK in a removal container.

The 18 cm huntsman spider was found in a shipping container full of family belongings at a removals company base in Merstham, Redhill yesterday. It had travelled for more than three months from Brisbane to the UK.

It is now being cared for by the RSPCA.

Credit: RSPCA

From the empty locust shells found in the container it seems he has thankfully been able to find food during that length of time, but it’s a long time to go without water, and he’s lucky he didn’t get squished by any boxes or furniture.

Finding an exotic spider or insect in a shipping or removal container is not as rare as you may think - because the containers can include outdoor belongings like children’s play equipment and garden furniture, spiders can get picked up by mistake.

He was about the size of my two hands put together, roughly 18cm, so quite something to look at! Huntsman spiders are not venomous but they can give a nasty bite."

– Annie Janes, RSPCA animal collection officer