Look, spiders really get an unfair bad rap. Arachnids do us the enormous favor of eating far more detrimental critters, like mosquitoes or the insects that threaten crops.
That said, we realize many folks are nevertheless filled with unadulterated terror at the sight of our eight-legged friends. And with that in mind, we present you with Charlotte.
This big lady showed up at Barnyard Betty’s Rescue, a farm animal sanctuary in Queensland, Australia, about a year ago. Due to the mysteries of the internet, the images started going viral this week, and the sanctuary posted on Facebook to reassure (or perhaps the opposite of that?) the public that the images were not photoshopped. Have another look:
In the spirit of an animal sanctuary, no harm came to Charlotte.
“She was a beautiful, calm spider, not aggressive in any way and like most spiders she just wanted to go about her business eating bugs and living in peace,” said an October 2015 post on the group’s Facebook page. “She didn’t or doesn’t need to be killed! Poor spiders are so misunderstood!”
Charlotte was a huntsman spider, a family of spiders so named because instead of building webs, they chase and hunt down their prey, which includes cockroaches and other insects (see? useful!) While they can bite people, they are “reluctant to bite” and usually run away from humans if possible, according to the Australian Museum. The museum notes that a bite can cause “some ill effects.”
Anyway, we’re happy to hear that Charlotte escaped unscathed and we hope she’s roaming free in Australia, hunting down roaches. Maybe if you’re really lucky (or unlucky), you’ll meet her someday.