'Huge' huntsman spider hitches from Brisbane to London

A huge huntsman spider reported to be "the size of a guinea pig" terrified British removalists when it emerged from a shipping container they were unloading in Surrey, England.

The arachnid was 18cm and had hitched a ride from Brisbane to Merstham in Redhill, Surrey, south of London - a journey of about 16,000km, the BBC reports.

British RSPCA officer Annie Janes said the huntsman was lucky to be alive after being trapped in the shipping container for three months.

A manager at Britannia Movers, Dave Aldridge, said he caught the spider after one of his colleagues fled the area after seeing it.

"I had three guys unloading, one ran about two miles up the road when he first saw it," he told the BBC.

"He's a handsome, furry guy. I caught him in a lunch box and took him home for my six-year-old son to see while waiting for the RSPCA to pick him up."

Ms Janes said "it seems he has thankfully been able to find food during that length of time".

"It's a long time to go without water, and he's lucky he didn't get squished by any boxes or furniture."

She added that finding a spider in a shipping container is not as rare as people think.

"Because the containers can include outdoor belongings like children's play equipment and garden furniture, spiders can get picked up by mistake."

The spider was taken to Heathrow Animal Reception in Hounslow, who will arrange for him to be rehomed to a specialist.

Although a bite can hurt, Huntsman spiders aren't venomous.

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