Scary Beyond All Reason

As you may or may not know, I HATE SPIDERS. I really do. Thinking about them makes me want to throw up. This is exactly the thing that made me terrified to come to Papua, and it didn’t make me feel better to read in Child of the Jungle about a spider in the highlands that was big enough to eat a bird. Holy heck that is so wrong on so many levels. Purely by the grace of God, this is not something I’ve encountered here. Until now.

While thinking about or being around spiders makes me want to die, for some reason when this frightfully demonic creature (above) moved into the hedge in between the two buildings at my office last week, I couldn’t look away. Every time I walked by on the path, I just had to stare at it – in all it’s evil, blood-sucking glory. It had actually built quite the web for itself and I almost wanted to be impressed, but I resisted the urge.

It lived there for a week, and on the day I brought my camera so I could share this horror with the rest of the world, it was actually eating something, which isn’t very clear in the picture, but was thoroughly intimidating in person. Also, one person said it was poisonous. Sick.

I took a picture of the first spider featured here on a Friday morning. When I got home in the afternoon, there was this other nasty creature living in a big fern right outside my front door. I tried to explain through my extensive repertoire of squeaking and choking noises that I cannot be around spiders. Specifically ones that look like THAT. My host mom said, what’s the big deal? It’s not dangerous. And me, in my high-pitched frenzy: excuse me?! Not dangerous?! And then trailing off into incomprehensible squeaking.

Then, in one of the most intense moments in my life, our 13-year-old house helper grabbed the spider out of its web WITH HER HAND, casually crumpled it up, and tossed it on the ground. Where I then crushed it under my foot. I think that is the most confused my host mom and our house helper have ever been about my strange foreign behavior, as someone who does not recognize non-poisonous spiders as harmless.

HOWEVER, as a follow-up to this drama, which all unfolded over a week ago, I woke up this morning to see a very small spider that was on the inside of my mosquito net. I decided I could ignore him, because tiny spiders aren’t that bad, and I’m just hoping he’s busy eating bugs in my room. I’d rather he wasn’t so close to me while I’m sleeping, but I’m trying to get better. Being ok with these huge monsters though? That is absolutely never going to happen.

5 Comments on “Scary Beyond All Reason”

  1. I have faith in you! Congrats on letting yourself get a little bit close to them :) They actually rebuild their webs each night…kinda cool…


  2. I’m totally cool with spiders that are not near me, on me, or threatening to jump on my face. But grabbing the spider and crumpling it up in her hands? AH!!! I cringed in my seat just reading that…

    No touchy… NO TOUCHY! (In keeping with your Emperor’s New Groove title)

    May your vaca on Bali & Lombok be spider encounter-free!


  3. Hey Annie – We’re halfway between you and Java right now (Halmahera) and the spiders? HUGE and terrifying. Almost bigger than Lucy Jiao’s head. I’m totally with you on the inherent evil of such creatures.


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