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Supermarket Customer Finds Venomous Spider With 200 Babies Inside Banana: "Fright of My Life"

Her egg sac might have contained up to 200 offspring.

A simple snack produced a terrifying shock for one British man, who opened a bunch of bananas and discovered a giant female spider in the bag, along with her egg sac that might have contained up to 200 offspring.  And that wasn't the only surprise that 35-year-old Craig Harrison brought home from the UK grocery store Tesco. "I don't consider myself to have a spider phobia, generally," he said. "This one was in a completely different league, though." Read on to find out what happened, and what the grocery store offered to do about it. 

Snacker Stumbled Backward In Shock

common huntsman spider close up

"I don't think I've ever had a shock horror reaction like it before. I was completely gobsmacked to discover it," said Harrison, who said he stumbled backward as the sight "gave me the fright of my life." There was more: That big spider wasn't just any big spider. Known as the Huntsman spider, it's the largest arachnid in the world—adults can have a foot-long leg span. The venomous spider's bite can be painful, although it's not deadly. 

"The Fright of My Life"

bananas things you're doing wrong

Harrison had no clue the bunch of plastic-wrapped fruit had such frightening cargo. "I had no idea the package I picked up in store had a Huntsman spider hidden inside," he said. "The spider had been nestled between the bananas, out of sight, clutching onto its egg sac. The bag wasn't fully transparent, which obscured any view of it." "I opened the bag at home, ripped off and ate a banana oblivious to the spider being right there in the bag, he said. "It was only afterwards, when the bag was moved, that it crawled down the bananas and gave me the fright of my life." Harrison captured the spider in a Tupperware and took it back to the supermarket for their pest control service to deal with. An expert with the London Zoological Society identified it as a Huntsman. 

Spider's Trip: 4,000 Miles


Harrison said the supermarket has offered him about $125 as compensation for the incident, but he hadn't decided whether to accept the cash. "I'll be checking all my pre-packaged fruit from now on, or preferably buy loose goods," he said. "I encourage others to be vigilant when buying pre-packaged fruit and vegetables," he added. "It's not impossible for creatures to work their way into our homes in this way." "We have robust processes to prevent spiders travelling with our fruit but on very rare occasions they can sometimes sneak through," a Tesco spokesperson told the UK Sun. The spider may have traveled more than 4,000 miles from the grocery's supplier in the Dominican Republic to the store shelf. 

Another Scary Spider Discovery

Kristy Backman/Facebook

A similar incident happened in Perth, Western Australia, last month—but the spider involved was much more dangerous. Kristy Backman found a cobweb and a spider inside a bunch of red seedless grapes as she was preparing a snack for her daughter, she said on the Woolworths community page. It turned out to be a redback spider, a close relative of the deadly black widow that is found across Australia, particularly in urban areas. As with the black widow, the redback's venom is a potent neurotoxin which shuts down the nervous system without medical attention. 

Therapy for Bite Effective

A redback spider, Australia's black widow, a venomous Australian native arachnid on a deck in Wonthaggi on the Bass Coast, South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

Thankfully, no one has died from a redback bite since the 1956 introduction of antivenom, although 2,000 bites happen annually. Backman wrote on the Facebook post that she had notified the store and was offered a replacement bag of grapes, with the produce manager pledging to notify the store's quality control. 

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