The Internet Is Freaking Out About This Terrifyingly Large Hunts

A giant huntsman spider has gone viral this week, and it looks like it crawled straight out of your nightmares The hunter, named Charlotte, was rescued last year by an Australian animal shelter and is now “living in peace” on their farm

The photos were uploaded to the Facebook page of Queensland animal rescue centre, Barnyard Betty’s Rescue, back in October 2015

But they were picked up again this week and have since been shared thousands of times, with people excited about how big the spider looks Hunters are one of the most common types of spiders found in Australian homes, and they get their name from the fact that they don’t build webs – instead they literally hunt their prey, which is usually insects such as crickets or cockroaches The name is given to more than a thousand separate species of spiders belonging to the family Sparassidae, found throughout Australia, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean and the Americas But while hunters are usually quite large – it’s not uncommon to see hunters with a leg span of around 15 centimeters (6 inches) hanging out in your kitchen if you live in Australia – pictures of Charlotte suggest she is much larger

“Yes she is very real and very big and not photoshopped!!” Barnyard Betty’s Rescue wrote on their site

The organization explains that they released the spider on their farm last year after rescuing her from a neighbor’s home, and they haven’t seen her since to take any more photos or videos

Poor spiders are so misunderstood!” It hasn’t been officially confirmed what species Charlotte is or exactly how big she is – it’s likely that the perspective of the photos makes her look bigger than she really is – but she covers easily half a broomheadBarnyard Betty’s Rescue While that’s big for an Australian hunter, it’s probably not enough to make her the greatest hunter of all time

In 2001, a team of German researchers discovered the giant huntsman spider (Heteropoda maxima) in a cave in Laos, which had a leg span of about 30 centimeters (12 inches) – about the size of a dinner plate – making it the largest spider by leg span on record Fortunately, few people have ever seen a giant hunting spider – they only live in a small area of ​​Laos

But they would most likely make Charlotte look small in comparison The good news is, despite how scary hunters look, they are not considered poisonous or dangerous to most people, although their bite can be quite painful Hopefully all the attention Charlotte gets will raise awareness that spiders are an important part of the ecosystem and worth protecting “My apologies to all those traumatized,” Barnyard Betty’s Rescue writes

“Charlotte wants you to look past your phobia and see her for the amazing being that she is “

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