The cause of the sudden explosion in tarantula population is unknown, and according to Arachnologist (that’s spider expert to you and me!) Dr Robert Raven from Queensland Museum is “so far off the scale, it’s unbelievable.”.
Discussing the town’s hairy inhabitants, Dr Raven said “Presumably, something is missing that would hammer them or there is something good [like a food source]. It’s one of the beauties of science, being able to say ‘I don’t know.'”
A bite from one of the tarantulas, which are able to survive under water, would not be fatal to us humans, but would be strong enough to induce vomiting and nausea.
Fortunately the local residents don’t seem to be too scared and on a local school excursion to the tarantula field, children were even filmed patting the spiders.
The species, which was first discovered in 2006, are able to survive under water by creating air bubbles, which they use when the plain is underwater during the wet season.
Regardless, I don’t think I’ll be visiting Maningrida any time soon! How about you?
Images: ABC News