A mother and her three-year-old son who moved to a new home were met with, not a loud, but a big surprise.
While unpacking the contents of boxes in her new home in Dymchurch, Kent in England, Carley Tapsell came face to face with a humungous spider with big teeth. She was terrified, but her son found it to be quite a lovely surprise.
"My three-year-old son is here and he thinks it is fascinating and amazing," Tapsell said.
The terrified mom also said the spider was really big and had big teeth, and that she has never seen a spider as gigantic as the one that was "just there" by the cardboard boxes. She did manage to trap the spider inside a lunchbox.
This is not so much of a surprise to some, however, since over the past weeks, millions of giant spiders have crawled their way inside homes all over the country, so they can breed in a warm and safe place. They're not at all harmful, too.
House spiders like the one Tapsell had a surprise encounter with in her new home can grow to be as big as six inches long. At some point when they've matured, males of these species leave their webs to look for a female mate.
"In doing so, they stop feeding so they don't actually live that long as an adult and they're just sort of roaming around," explained spider specialist Stuart Hine from the Natural History Museum. So the reason why those millions of spiders have been entering homes is because this is the mating season, and they just want a dry place to mate.
Hine added that the house spiders can bite when picked up, but also said that they don't pose any harm to humans.
"There has been a spate of false widow attacks in recent months," he said.
Despite their name house spiders, these little - or big - eight-legged creatures are actually more commonly found in garages, sheds or in the garden, the spider specialist said.
So yes, it was a surprise to Tapsell, but it turns out it's nothing to be terrified about, after all.