People Are Freaked Out Over Viral Photo Of “Flying Tarantula”

A viral photo of a “flying tarantula” has people talking and with good reason!

The picture is enough to get anyone with arachnophobia the heebie-jeebies.

u/XXXNASTECION in the Reddit subgroup r/nope.

They added the caption, “Antheraea Polyphemus, basically a tarantula with wings.”

Photo: Flickr/Patrick Denker License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

While it almost looks like it could be photoshopped, the creature is real.

“That HAS to be from Australia,” one person commented, but it’s actually one of the most “widely distributed” large silk moths found from southern Canada down into Mexico and in all of the lower 48 states (except for Arizona and Nevada), according to the University of Florida.

Photo: Flickr/Dave Hoth License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Naturally, people freaked out over the moth due to its uncanny resemblance to a tarantula.

The moth species typically grow between 4 to 6 inches long, with a wingspan that stretches up to 6 inches and features a unique, distinct pattern.

Photo: Flickr/Loco Steve License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

While some photos of the moth are certainly startling, there are other pictures that show the moth in a different, and arguably cuter, light.

“Asking for my safety: would a shotgun slug be enough to kill that thing?” someone asked, and it’s a fair question. Thankfully, the moth is virtually harmless to humans, so if you see one in real life, you have no cause to worry.

People, Pets & Planet

Help where it’s needed most at GreaterGood for free!