Huge spider 'the size of my head' terrifies woman hanging out laundry

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

When Rae Wilson was hanging out her laundry on Sunday morning, she was confronted by an eight-legged monster so big it even had a face.

Ms Wilson, who lives in the north Queensland town of Mackay, got the shock of her life when the spider, estimated to be the size of her head, popped up beside her backyard fence.

Sharing pictures of the beast to Facebook, Ms Wilson joked the spider was her “new flatmate”.

“I certainly used an expletive when I saw it,” she admitted.

Ms Wilson, who only moved to Mackay in February, said she was also surprised to encounter a huge spider a few months ago, but this time the creature was even larger.

“Could be the same one but all grown up,” she guessed.

Asked to put her hand next to it for a size reference, she responded: “I am not getting that close to it. I would say with legs it’s the size of my head.”

Her social media posts were met with shock and amazement, with some commenting the spider was quintessentially “Straya”.

“Mate that’s the size of a human,” one friend wrote.


“Rrruuuuuunnnnnnnnn,” a third urged.

The spider has been identified as a golden orb weaver AKA Nephila pilipes, where the female of the species dwarfs the male. Source: Getty

Huge spider species identified

The Queensland Museum’s Dr Michael Rix confirmed the monster spider is the giant golden orb-weaving spider, scientifically known as Nephila pilipes.

“It is the largest orb-weaving spider in Australia, and common along the tropical east coast of Queensland,” the museum’s principal curator of arachnida told Yahoo News Australia.

The species spins a strong golden web and has boldly marked black legs with bright yellow joints. Males are vastly dwarfed by the giant female, according to the museum’s website.

The giant golden orb is most numerous in Queensland’s north but in warmer years the spiders have been seen as far south as Ipswich and even Coffs Harbour.

In similarly terrifying news, a South Australian woman recently learned why you should always check your letterbox before reaching in to it.

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