A Michigan mom came face to face with a real-life nightmare when she discovered one of the world's largest spiders crawling around in her son's bedroom.
"I looked over thinking it was a big ball of string, and it turned out it had eyes and it was a big spider," Jillian Duke of Shelby Township said during an interview with WXYZ.
Duke said that the arachnid was so large that it needed a "leash."
When she first encountered the spider, Duke said that she was thoroughly frightened and proceeded to drop heavy books on the nonvenomous creature. She then contacted her husband and parents to inform them of the situation.
Duke explained that she became even more scared when she heard her father's reaction.
"He's 73, he's pipelined across the country," Duke said. "He couldn't believe the size of the spider, and he's never seen anything like that."
After killing the creature, Duke said that she "ripped" her son's room apart to ensure that there were no more massive spiders crawling around.
"I'm so concerned because it could have hurt or done worse to my child," Duke wrote. "My dad thinks it's poisonous for sure."
In an effort to learn more about the spider, Duke contacted a pet store in Utica that specializes in spiders. Their employees contacted the entomologists from the Cranbrook Institute of Science.
It was determined that the behemoth creature was a Huntsman spider.
"Australian Huntsman spider, which would be one of the largest spiders in the world, but completely harmless outside of an allergic reaction to its venom," Randy John Lee, an employee from Pets & Things said.
Lee said that the spider is not native to North America, but likely hitched a ride to the country from elsewhere. Huntsman spiders are native to warmer climates like Australia, Africa, and Asia, he says.
Duke initially shared a photo of the enormous arachnid on Facebook with the caption: "Found this MONSTER furry spider in my sons (sic) room this morning. Thank God my daddy came over to get it out. Mind you, he's almost 73 and has lived, travelled and worked all over the world and has never seen a spider like this. I'm so concerned because it could have hurt or done worse to my child. My dad thinks its poisonous for sure. (He practically ripped his room apart to make sure there weren't any more) but anyone have a clue to what this is? Thinking of taking it to a vet or animal clinic to find out what kind this is."