I recently went to the Caribbean. Wouldn’t have gone if I’d known one of these things could come running at me.
Filmed by British tourists at Cruce De Rio Verde in the Dominican Republic, you can hear one woman scream ‘oh my God’ followed by a profanity and perhaps ‘don’t move’.
Here it is, if you dare watch it.
Apparently this is a common thing in the Dominican Republic, so much so that there’s a thread on TripAdvisor dedicated to it.
It’s kicked off with this:
I’ve seen pictures of some giant spiders from Punta Cana [a municipality in the Dominican Republic]. Should I be at all concerned when my one year is playing? What kind of spiders are they? They almost look like tarantulas but I assume that it is not. Are these spiders poisonous?
“I have also seen these spiders posted on candid travellers’ photos of STB. I assume that they are tarantulas, as that is what they are being called. How dangerous are they?”
Gregg chirps in:
“There is a native tarantula-like spider in the DR called a ‘cacata’, but it is quite timid and tends to stay hidden from human eyes unless you start poking around rotting tree stumps or overturning rocks. They are not poisonous but the bite can be painful.
“In almost 20 trips to the DR I have yet to see one, but then I don’t seek them out in sugar cane fields and in the camps.
“There is also a fairly large centipede which has a painful bite and a variety or two of small scorpion. All are extremely rare unless you look for them and are very, very rare in tourist areas. Yes there have been a few reports on various boards but then there are four million tourists a year who visit the DR – that’s a lot of eyes looking in a lot of places.”
And this lad saved the day.
“There are no poisonous spiders or snakes in the DR. Spiders are likely more frightened of you.”
Here is a cacata, also known as the Hispaniolan Giant Tarantula, which does seem to be very similar to the horrific creature in the picture.
They apparently make good pets and if you get bit by one the most it will cause is irritation to the skin.