Photo: David McNew (Getty Images)
There is truly no end to the horrors that befall us road-users on a regular basis, but this one might be one of the worst: A giant spider crossing state Route 190 in Death Valley National Park caused the drivers of a rented van to stop so suddenly that the following motorcyclist crashed into them, SF Gate reports. The rider was rushed to the hospital. The spider, apparently, was just fine.
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You’re reading that right. Some poor Swiss folks in a rented camper van braked so suddenly to avoid running over a tarantula that a 24-year-old Canadian tourist on the back of a motorcycle had no time to stop or swerve, BBC reports. He was taken to Desert View Hospital in Pahrump, Nevada, where his condition is currently unknown.
“Please drive slowly, especially going down steep hills in the park,” Superintendent Mike Reynolds, the first Park Service employee at the scene of the collision, said in a statement. “Our roads still have gravel patches due to flood damage, and wildlife of all sizes are out.”
The tarantula in question may look scary, but BBC reports that these particular spiders are nothing to fear; they aren’t deadly to humans, and their bite feels like a bee sting.
Fall is tarantula mating season, which is why this slow, furry creature was making its way across a state highway. Only eight- to 10-year old males leave the underground burrows in search of mates; otherwise, a significant portion of a tarantula’s life is spend tucked in an underground burrow, where they only emerge to gobble up some prey. Unfortunately for our poor Canadian motorcyclist, this tarantula was likely on the prowl for a his spider mate when the Swiss couple in the van tried to do the right thing by letting the local wildlife pass by.