Laura M. often goes for runs near her home in the San Fransico Bay area, and she’s used to seeing all sorts of wildlife along the way. While she respects all creatures, big and small, spiders definitely throw her off, especially tarantulas.
On a recent run, Laura had a good rhythm going until someone unexpected and a little scary crossed her path.
“Running along a curvy section of trail, I was startled by a large spider and thought to myself, ‘Well, at least it wasn’t a tarantula,’” Laura (who asked that her last name not be included) told The Dodo. “No more than two minutes later, I came around a bend and instantly saw the tarantula slowly crossing the trail, maybe 15 feet ahead. I immediately froze, stopped my watch and stared at it for a few seconds, rethinking all my life’s choices. The tarantula had also stopped moving and was watching me in return.”
As Laura stood frozen on the trail, engaged in a staredown with a tarantula, she decided her only option was to take a photo so that everyone would know how big and scary he was when she hopefully lived to tell the tale. Eventually, the tarantula decided he’d had enough and moved along, and Laura ran as far away as possible. Later, she worked up the courage to check out the photos she’d gotten, and was a little bummed when she saw the results.
“I was a bit disappointed that he looked very small in the photo compared to real life, but iPhone’s zoom feature isn’t all that spectacular and I was not willing to get closer for a better shot,” Laura said. “I saw it with my eyeballs, that was enough.”
Laura eventually found it kind of funny that the tarantula looked so small and nonthreatening in the photos. She posted one online and sent it around to her friends and family, and ended up with mixed reactions.
“My husband commended me for my bravery, my family and friends told me to move back to the Midwest, where there are no tarantulas, and the lovely people of the internet could hardly find the tarantula in the photo I posted, which was equal parts hilarious and invalidating,” Laura said.
The tarantula is hard to spot in the photos Laura captured, but he’s definitely there, no doubt wondering why a random woman stopped to take a photo of him just minding his business. They both had quite a story to tell their friends later on.
Although Laura would have liked to capture better photos, she doesn’t feel the need to go looking for the tarantula again. She knows he was huge, and that’s all that matters.