An image of a massive spider attached to the side of a house is again being circulated. Is it real or fake?
It’s a hoax.
Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons this is easy to call a hoax.
The photo is often seen in one of two variants: as a meme, or just the image. The meme contains the caption, “Meanwhile in Australia.” A version of the image recently included the caption: “In Texas this abnormally large spider was found on the side of this home. It took several gun shots to kill it.”
We were able to track down the creator of this image, artist Paul Santa Maria from the website ArtOfPencil.com. He kindly gave us a detailed account of the photo’s creation:
I was outside with a Canon point-and-shoot at my former house in New Smyrna Beach, Florida on a hot day – this Wolf Spider (note he has only 7 legs!) was sitting in the shade on a concrete block – I shot him, then the side of the house and painstakingly cut the Spider out in Photoshop 7 and flew him into the house pic, then equally painstakingly painted shadows. (If one just used the “Drop Shadow” effect, then it would look unnatural as light bounces all around the place when outside, not just down…) anyway, these spiders are as big as your palm and this house has tile floors – they get in all the time and I swear you can HEAR THEM WALKING ON THE TILES!!! No kidding!
He posted the image on Facebook but removed it after over 24,000 shares. As he describes:
I was just having fun, but I took it off my own Facebook page after complaints from friends with children that I was scaring the pants off them! Haha – success!
It should be noted that spiders simply do not get that large. This appears to be a wolf spider (experts please feel free to chime in here), which typically only max out at a couple of inches in size. It should be noted that the spider in the image only has 7 legs, which isn’t uncommon in the wild to see.
The largest spiders in the world are such large varieties as the Giant Huntsman Spider or the Goliath birdeater, with perhaps a 10-12-inch leg-span possible. A pre-historic spider may have reached a 20-inch leg-span size. So 12 inches found in today’s largest spiders is certainly a long way off from the creature seen in this photo. See more about the world’s largest spiders here.
Though not many people are fooled by an image of such a massive spider, those arachnophobia types probably tend to err on the side of caution and look it up just in case. And in this case, it is certainly not real.
We’d like to thank Paul from ArtOfPencil.com for clearing this up for us.
Want to see more spider-based hoaxes and images? Check out these spider hoaxes:
Eventually the photo was turned into a meme by someone else and circulated with the following caption: