How can spiders GROW SO BIG in Taiwan?

I always thought spiders this huge were tucked away deep in the jungle, so it shocked me to see so many of these big spiders in downtown Taipei.

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The attack of the killer spiders?

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Taipei, Taiwan. Such a calm city – until you are unfortunate enough to see giant spiders in your apartment! I had no idea they grew as big as this in Taiwan. In fact, even though most species of spider in Taiwan are pretty harmless (but not all), they still give me the creeps just by looking at them! What would you do if you woke up in your hotel room and saw one of these horrid things on your ceiling?

Disgusting! (photo credit: Incredible Things.com)
Disgusting! (photo credit: IncredibleThings.com)

Even outdoors, the spiders in Taiwan can grow to quite a ferocious size. The Golden Silk Orb Weaver Spider and the Giant Wood Spider are both known to capture and eat prey the size of birds, as you can see from the photos above. I would not want to be walking through the countryside in Taiwan and come across these things. Imagine walking into one of their webs?!

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I can remember visiting YangMingShan National Park just outside of Taipei city limits and worrying about coming face to face with a poisonous snake (of which there are many in that infamous park). Yet if I had know that spiders like the ones above had existed then I doubt I would have ventured there alone in the first place!

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My own experiences with spiders in Taiwan have thankfully been very few, although I did have a huge spider in my hotel room at a hotel called Park Taipei, where I was staying for 3 nights a couple of years ago (this was my first trip to Taiwan). I phoned the reception of the hotel and asked them to send someone up to capture the devil. Some time later, it was caught and presumably released back into the wild, although to be frank I had no interest what happened to the spider – I was just glad it couldn’t attack me anymore! I learned later than these spiders are a kind of Giant Huntsman Spider that is native to Taiwan, and can be harmful to Humans, though thankfully not deadly. Needless to say, I now always look under my bed and in my closet now when staying in the Taiwanese capital!

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6 thoughts on “How can spiders GROW SO BIG in Taiwan?

  1. The spiders were a huge shock to me when I first arrived in Taiwan three years ago … and nothing has changed. I still freak out when I see them. I’ve had a couple brown huntsman spiders in my home and, let me tell you, those things are fast! Tried killing one, it chased me down the hall until I hit it with a broom. The other hid behind my cupboards the day before I left for a long vacation. Never saw it again. They’re terrifying, but we didn’t have any problems with cockroaches for months! Apparently they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them, and they eat all the bugs in the house. Those enormous “human face spiders” though? I hate them. And they’re everywhere in the mountains. There’s nothing good about them. Just don’t look up and you’ll be fine. 😉

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  2. We have these Huntsman spiders in our house in Beitou — fast yes, eat cockroaches yes, kind of like friends once you get used to them. Don’t try to kill them — just usher them to spider-free zones. They are not trying to kill or attack you (and just imagine what hey think you look like!). Do look around while walking in parks and woody areas — I would not want a giant Golden Orb or other large spider in my ear or down my t-shirt. They are pretty though — it is the dead ones lying around that creep me out.

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