Do you know what’s hundreds of times worse than seeing a venomous spider? Seeing one that’s carrying hundreds of spider babies on her back.
That’s what Dutch backpackers Pauline Keuzekamp, 28, and her boyfriend Valentijn Meeuwis, 30, were faced with while travelling in Australia recently.
The pair were in the remote town of Merbein – one of the last stops in their four-month road trip around the country – when they spotted something approaching their camp.
Seconds later they were shocked and terrified to see the massive wolf spider with hundreds of her young clinging to her back wandering through their campsite.
Pauline said: ‘We thought it might be a spider, but it was huge and its body seemed too round and really fluffy.
‘I sprinted to the car to get a torch and I nearly died when I shined my light onto the thing.
‘There were thousands of reflective little eyes staring back at me and suddenly its whole body starting to move.
‘I realized it was a huge wolf spider with an army of baby spiders on its back and I absolutely freaked out.’
They look like something from your worse nightmare, but wolf spiders are not actually deadly to humans. When provoked they will bite, however their venom will only induce mild swelling, itching and some pain.
The wolf spider and her babies aren’t the only strange creatures Pauline and Valentijn have come across during their adventures in Australia.
‘We had seen lots of spiders, heaps of scary snakes and even some crocodiles,’ she said.
‘We’ve even been chased by a curious emu and were surprised to find enormous frogs hiding in the toilet one time.’