Man Experiences ‘Nightmare’ Scenario Losing Eight-Inch Spider in House

by Matthew Memrick

Imagine finding a deadly, eight-inch spider in your garden one minute, and in the next, a nightmare scenario comes to life with it missing in your house.

Well, for one Englishman, that nightmare is a reality. Jim Dodds found the spider in a box on Sunday, Sept. 19. Dodds and his wife Helen trapped it in the box. 

The arachnophobe was able to take a picture of the arachnid, but then, it was gone. 

Now, the 53-year-old kitchen fitter is in a dangerous place. Literally.

Before its escape, the man took a photo that doesn’t show the markings on its back and abdomen used to identify arachnids. This spider has long pincers, creepy bony legs, and a giant, fat abdomen.

Experts have struggled to ID the insect, but one said it could be an ambush spider – or the deadly Australian Funnel Web escaped from someone’s collection.

Now What?

Dodds said a few choice words before contacting somebody who could identify the spider from his photo. A few had weighed on the spider, but that’s about all they’ll do.

“I think it is venomous,” Dodds said. “But I’m not 100 percent, I just wanted it gone but no one would help, it was massive and horrendous.”

The photo doesn’t do the spider much justice. Its positioning has made it hard to tell markings.

Before the escape, Dodds had a meeting with an expert to come to see the spider. Now, he wants that vet to come by and get it but has had no takers. 

So now, Dodds and his wife can only do one thing if they see the evil beast.  

“To be honest with you, if I spot it, I’m running,” Dodds said. “I don’t do spiders.”

The ID Is The Hardest Part

Nottingham Trent University professor of biology Chris Terrell Nield gauged the spider to be a foreigner based on its size. Maybe, a male spider with thickened palps. Oh, also that it is a deadly one. 

“The reported size does tell me it is not from around here – I suspect tropical or Australasian – so is likely to be an escapee from someone’s collection,” he said. “I assume it’s real!”

Terrell Nield guessed ambush or funnel-web spider from Australia. With the funnel-web, the particular spider has long spinners and downward-pointing jaws. A collector probably had it. 

According to one journal, a painful bite from a male funnel-web spider can cause death in a period from 15 minutes to three days. Before 1981, bites would result in death in Australia. Doctors created an antivenom.

Sydney, Australia records have reported that funnel-web spiders have caused 13 documented deaths (seven children).

There’s another warning to the Dobbs family. 

These spiders don’t jump. They’re more of the fast-running kind.