A British expat nearly lost the road when, to his horror, one of the largest spiders in the world suddenly appeared on his windshield.
Lindsay Vine, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, was making an effort to stay cool when the giant creature showed up while driving his pickup truck south of Sydney, Australia.
Video images at the gas station, where the 40-year-old finally stopped, showed the huge arachnid lurking behind the sun visor on the passenger side.
Lindsay gave a dramatic account of how the drama played out and what he said to the spider: “I told him if he moves again I will crash and kill us.”
He said he was pretty comfortable on the freeway until it got dark and the spider appeared in front of him.
“It was about an hour and a half after my trip and it was dark,” said Vine.
“I was driving down the highway, listening to Cyndi Lauper and singing my heart out when suddenly a shadowless creature appeared on the windshield. It was a damn big spider!
“He just ran blisteringly all over the window and actually stopped right in front of me.”
Lindsay estimates that the spider – a hunter – was about the size of his outstretched hand.
“I was petrified buddy,” he said. “I froze. My heart stopped and I closed my arms. An ancestral instinct came to preserve all life on board.
“I knew there were spiders in Australia, and I knew from watching Octonauts on TV that wildlife mostly only attack when they feel threatened or fearful.
“I also had to prepare myself mentally for the event I jumped for. I kept thinking about the ‘Face Hugger’ scene in the alien films and trying to come up with an immediate plan of action if that should happen to me.”
During the next 20 minutes Lindsay drove on and looked for a place where he could stop – and then the spider disappeared from view to his alarm.
He continued, “I didn’t know if it jumped on the passenger seat or the dashboard, or even on me!
“I’m myself, not literally, but figuratively. Then I panicked a little and threatened to crash the car and kill us both if it didn’t make itself felt.
“This is also the case when small flies, mosquitos, or even air from the vents tickle your legs and you immediately think it’s the spider. It was total torture in the dark for 20 minutes.
“I continued scanning the inside cabin. I’m really amazed that I didn’t crash that night – until I saw the spider hiding behind the passenger visor.”
At the gas station, Vine opened the passenger door with one finger, hoping the spider would slip out – but she was unmoved.
“So I went to a diner,” he said. “There I found a towering animal of a handsome bearded man. My hairy hero!”
The unidentified Aussie removed the spider from Lindsay’s car – and the one
Scot has now written a poem to thank him.
Notorious for its size, the Huntsman spider family includes the largest spider in the world by leg span, the Giant Hunter.
They have a venomous bite that incapacitates their prey and that can cause headaches, vomiting, and palpitations in humans.
But they are not generally considered harmful to humans.
Lindsay, who moved to Australia to be with his Australian wife, said: “I knew that, in general, the bigger the spider in Australia, the less likely you would be murdered.
“It’s the little ones to worry about. But since I’m from Scotland, where spiders are tiny, I didn’t want to risk being choked or stabbed by them.”
He added: “I think I was very brave, actually my family disagrees.”