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Old 19th March 2017, 06:05 AM   #1
tinribmancer
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Question 20cm spider in Western Europe that hisses.

I think I'm asking this in the right forum.

This is something that apparently happened in the 80's at my aunt & uncle's house. They claim up until today that they had a big black spider from 20 cm in their living room that started to hiss at my uncle when he tried to chase it out of their house.

Personally neither me nor my parents believe that story. Plus, back in the 80's, they lived right next to us, so my mother or father must've heard something if this was true (like my aunt yelling).

And, I'm pretty sure that those spiders can only be found in the amazon woods.

So, I told my mother that I would ask if spiders like that exist in this part of the world and whether they would hiss on that skepticforum that I visit.

So, in case the questions weren't clear yet:

1. hissing spiders, do they exist?
2. spiders from 20 cm in western europe, is this possible?
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Old 19th March 2017, 06:11 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by tinribmancer View Post
I think I'm asking this in the right forum.

This is something that apparently happened in the 80's at my aunt & uncle's house. They claim up until today that they had a big black spider from 20 cm in their living room that started to hiss at my uncle when he tried to chase it out of their house.

Are you sure it wasn't a very small cat?
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Old 19th March 2017, 06:13 AM   #3
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An escaped pet Tarantula?
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Old 19th March 2017, 06:14 AM   #4
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Google says wolf spiders and some tarantulas hiss.

Have you tried looking up spiders native to your area?

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 19th March 2017 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 19th March 2017, 06:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
An escaped pet Tarantula?
When I was about 12, I found a tarantula in a vacant lot (Norwalk CA).
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Old 19th March 2017, 06:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Are you sure it wasn't a very small cat?
Wasn't born yet. They still claim it was a spider.

@Captain_Swoop: they never had a pet spider.

@Skeptic Ginger: I have Arachnophobia. The last thing I'm going to be looking up on the internet, are crawling things with 8 legs (except scorpions).

I asked my father if he would look it up on his smartphone.
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Last edited by tinribmancer; 19th March 2017 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:08 AM   #7
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A goliath bird eating spider grows to that size, and larger, and also hisses. It must have been imported (if genuine). However, they are huge and bulky and not something you'd just chase out of your living room like a woodlouse or a wasp.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:09 AM   #8
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Do you mean the body was 20cm or the overall size, including legs?

Our big spiders can attain a size of around 100mm, including legs and tend to be aaaallllll legs.

Last edited by bluesjnr; 19th March 2017 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
Do you mean the body was 20cm or the overall size, including legs?

Our big spiders can attain a size of around 100mm, including legs and tend to be aaaallllll legs.
Legs included.

Personally, I think it's a PIDOOMA. It's not the first time that my aunt & uncle are making up stories to get some attention...
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Old 19th March 2017, 10:27 AM   #10
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Doesn’t have to be their pet spider, it could have wandered in from somewhere else.
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Old 19th March 2017, 10:30 AM   #11
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Big European Spiders
https://poitoucharentesinphotos.word...der-in-europe/
http://ednieuw.home.xs4all.nl/Spiders/spidhome.htm
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Old 19th March 2017, 10:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
The one in the OP was allegedly ten times that size.
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Old 19th March 2017, 11:02 AM   #13
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Last year during summer I had a spider in my home which was roughly 12 cm with legs. Even my cats were wary of playing with it. When i saw it I panicked and searched for a big book, line phone book. You can imagine the rest. It did not even splat fully. The body was more than 2cm in diameter.

I am still shivering thinking back about it.
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Old 19th March 2017, 01:13 PM   #14
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This is one bfs. https://youtu.be/aNHK565cVe8
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Old 19th March 2017, 01:24 PM   #15
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Spider are great. I never kill spiders (or anything else for that matter). I always put them outside. The biggest one was too big to pick up so I went and got a pint glass but it wouldn't fit under that either. I guess its legs were about 4.5 inches across, its body 3/4 inch. Totally harmless, but very very fast.
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Old 19th March 2017, 04:14 PM   #16
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Old 19th March 2017, 05:52 PM   #17
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We're one of two places in the Americas that have Eratigena atrica (previously known as Tegenaria Gigantea). They aren't 20 cm by any stretch, but they can certainly seem like that when they're skittering across the floor at you. I think the record is 10 cm, and the fastest true spider.

I try to let them be, because they're quite fond of dining on (or just outcompeting) hobo spiders and they would much rather run than bite. So as long as they don't get in my way, I'm content to share space with them.
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Old 25th March 2017, 12:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Are you sure it wasn't a very small cat?
With 8 legs?

















Must've been an octopussy.
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Old 25th March 2017, 12:36 PM   #19
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Stridulation.

But I doubt the story.
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Old 25th March 2017, 02:37 PM   #20
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Spiders freak me out. Always. They are even in my nightmares. Once, while driving through the desert, I saw a tarantula walking on the road and I had a panic attack.

The spider discussed in this thread - well - I don't want to see it to check out its size. Any spider is too big as far as I'm concerned. However, I once lived where there were wolf-spiders under the house. They have fangs. Freaking fangs! Though I never got close enough to one to verify it or not, I was told by others that when cornered, the wolf-spider would bare its fangs and hiss. Hiss!

Often, when stories are told over time, they become distorted or exaggerated. That's what I believe happened in this spider story.
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Old 26th March 2017, 01:13 AM   #21
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Trigger Warning NSFW (not safe for Wasapi)

The Huntsman is our biggest and they're maybe 20 cm with legs, but I've never heard of one getting as far north as the OPs mythical beastie; they don't survive freezes. The Aussies have a Huntsman, but other than talking with a funny accent, it's nothing exceptional in a country where, to borrow a line from 1,000,000 Ways to Die in the West, "everything that isn't you wants to kill you".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntsman_spider

We leave our spiders be. I don't even take the webs down in the house unless I see a couple of new webs forming. In a country with four different dengue fever carrying mosquitoes and 16 or 17 malaria-bearing, any critter that catches and eats flying critters is fine by me.
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Old 28th March 2017, 04:36 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
The Huntsman is our biggest and they're maybe 20 cm with legs, but I've never heard of one getting as far north as the OPs mythical beastie; they don't survive freezes. The Aussies have a Huntsman, but other than talking with a funny accent, it's nothing exceptional in a country where, to borrow a line from 1,000,000 Ways to Die in the West, "everything that isn't you wants to kill you".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntsman_spider

We leave our spiders be. I don't even take the webs down in the house unless I see a couple of new webs forming. In a country with four different dengue fever carrying mosquitoes and 16 or 17 malaria-bearing, any critter that catches and eats flying critters is fine by me.

We get very similar spiders here (different genus I believe). They're big, faster than Flash Gordon and aggressive. I've definitely heard them hiss when provoked.

Wiki

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Old 28th March 2017, 04:39 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
We leave our spiders be. I don't even take the webs down in the house unless I see a couple of new webs forming. In a country with four different dengue fever carrying mosquitoes and 16 or 17 malaria-bearing, any critter that catches and eats flying critters is fine by me.
Web spinners I'm fine with - you always know where they are more or less. Rain spiders (or huntsmen as you called them) don't spin webs - they roam about hunting (hence the term I assume. In SA they're called rain spiders, because that's when you see them - they come inside when it rains). Also I believe their prey tend to be lizards and geckos rather than mozzies.
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Old 29th March 2017, 04:28 PM   #24
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Thumbs up

It seems that judging by the comments, my first assumption was right.

My aunt & uncle were just looking for attention (again).
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Old 14th April 2017, 08:54 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Spider are great. I never kill spiders (or anything else for that matter). I always put them outside. The biggest one was too big to pick up so I went and got a pint glass but it wouldn't fit under that either. I guess its legs were about 4.5 inches across, its body 3/4 inch. Totally harmless, but very very fast.
I used to not kill spiders because their webs catch witches, but they never caught my wife. But since my dog with an uncanny ability to catch flies in flight died I'm left depending on my spiders.
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Old 18th April 2017, 01:23 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
A goliath bird eating spider grows to that size, and larger, and also hisses. It must have been imported (if genuine). However, they are huge and bulky and not something you'd just chase out of your living room like a woodlouse or a wasp.
No one is denying spiders that big exist, but what makes people skeptical is it happeningin Western Europe.
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Old 24th April 2017, 09:48 AM   #27
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I would guess that they probably actually saw a large spider (probably a wolf spider) and that the shock of it resulted in some exaggerated recounting. The spider was probably smaller than 20 cm, the hissing was probably completely fabricated, terror level still probably pretty real.
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Old 24th April 2017, 01:35 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
No one is denying spiders that big exist, but what makes people skeptical is it happeningin Western Europe.
Indeed. The lack of such creatures is one of the nice things about Europe.
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Old 24th April 2017, 03:03 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Spiders freak me out. Always.
Whenever I see a spider in the house I suck it up with the vacuum cleaner.

Just in case its still alive, I then use the vacuum cleaner to suck up a bunch of un-popped popcorn, so they can pummel it to death.

Then I take the vacuum cleaner and douse it with alcohol and set it on fire.
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Old 24th April 2017, 07:23 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Whenever I see a spider in the house I suck it up with the vacuum cleaner.

Just in case its still alive, I then use the vacuum cleaner to suck up a bunch of un-popped popcorn, so they can pummel it to death.

Then I take the vacuum cleaner and douse it with alcohol and set it on fire.
That sort of thing merely irritates Australian spiders.
They just sit inside the vacuum cleaning biding their time, chewing on popcorn and watching the pretty lights, until it all dies down and they can come out at night and crawl into your mouth while you're sleeping.
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Old 26th April 2017, 07:32 PM   #31
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I wasn't aware there were Australian spiders small enough to fit in a person's mouth.
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Old 27th April 2017, 01:03 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
I wasn't aware there were Australian spiders small enough to fit in a person's mouth.


Cannonball!
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