Tourist shocked as baby spiders inundate her Aussie rental: 'I would've cried'

The skin-crawling video has racked up millions of views – and apparently even has some people reconsidering travelling to Australia.

Marta (left) and posing in front of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge (right).
Marta shared her terrifying experience online, much to the shock of her followers. Source: Instagram

A tourist currently living and working in Australia has shared a video which could just be the nightmare of every prospective traveller considering a trip Down Under. The disturbing video, which has been viewed more than 24 million times, shows scores of baby spiders inundating her bathroom. But despite the overwhelming temptation of getting rid of them, an expert says they will most likely vanish on their own.

Marta, a Polish woman who is currently living in Sydney, captioned the video "just Australian things" and sparked a flurry of comments from fellow overseas travellers who say the footage has turned them off ever visiting Australia.

The clip shows hundreds of tiny spiders crawling all over the woman's shower and bath after seemingly emerging out of the small crevices in the walls.

University of Sydney professor and ecologist Dieter Hochuli told Yahoo News Australia the spiders in the video are most likely harmless huntsmen, native to Australia, due to their large legs. He said it was actually quite common to see this kind of cluster in Australia – and that the mother spider might not necessarily be present once her eggs have hatched.

“Lots of these spiders will lay an egg sack with 200-300 eggs in it, and they hatch quite synchronously so it’s a mass hatching,” Hochuli explained. “But the reality is they will die fairly soon, as they’ll be eaten by something else or one of their siblings, or just die out. The mother spider focuses less on maternal care and more on producing lots of babies… basically your job is done once you hatch.”

He noted that Marta would likely see fewer and fewer spiders in her bathroom each day until they have either died out or become larger huntsmen and retreated to nooks and crannies in the home.

“If you just wait they’ll disperse quite quickly over a day or two,” he said. “Their game is to hang out in the open like that until they find a crevice and some small insects.”

However, Hochuli said arachnophobes eager to get rid of the insects, could also move them along humanely by funnelling them into a jar with a piece of paper underneath and tossing them outside.

Spiders cover all the walls in the bathroom.
The spiders seemed to emerge from several holes in her bathroom to quickly inundate most surfaces. Source: Instagram

Many people online had strong reactions to the video with one saying they "would've cried" in Marta's position, while another joked: "I had a small heart attack after watching this".

"I would actually scratch my skin clean off," said another.

Several of Marta’s overseas followers even claimed the video has quashed any plans they had to travel down under. “Australia is the absolutely one place I would never visit,” one person wrote. “I don’t care if the whole trip is free. No thanks.”

“I don’t care how much I love the Irwins, I’m never going to step foot in Australia,” another person commented.

Marta pictured in Darling Harbour (left) and in a garden (right).
Marta has been enjoying her time working and living in Australia. Source: Instagram

But a handful of patriotic Aussies were quick to clap back at the negative commentary, explaining that this was not exactly a common occurrence. “I’m Australian, grew up in the bush. This is not, I repeat NOT the norm in my country,” one person wrote. “Stop scaring people."

Dr Helen Smith, technical officer in the arachnology department at the Australian Museum said the mum had laid her eggs in a bundle enclosed by a silk covering known as an egg sac and stayed with it until the spiderlings were "ready to disperse".

"She is probably under the house or bath or in the wall cavity and wouldn't be able to get through the gap that the spiderlings have emerged from," Smith told Yahoo News.

"Huntsman mums guard the egg sac and bite it open when the young need to get out. Then they will stay nearby for a few days before dispersing.

Close up of a baby huntsman.
Being inundated by baby spiders is the stuff of nightmares for many. Source: Getty

"The huntsman spiderlings will disperse over a few days and most will die of dehydration or starvation or predation (daddy long-legs spiders get a good feed if there are any nearby). They will disappear back under the house or outside or wherever they can get out through cracks and crevices.

"If a human wants to try to help them, then use a water mister to give them a drink (but that panics them as well, so be prepared for some to drop).

"You could also try to gently sweep a group of them onto a crumpled tea towel with a soft brush and carry them outside - some will be injured but others will be able to run away. There are usually too many to rescue them individually."

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