If there is one place in the world where it seems reasonable to feel safe from earthbound wildlife, it’s in an airplane...right?...Right? Wrong. Ugh. So wrong.
A pair of freeloading tarantulas were found scampering loose in the cabin of a Montreal-bound Air Transat flight, having apparently sneaked aboard before the plane took off from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. As someone whose first act immediately upon boarding any airplane is to kick off my shoes (judge away) and settle them into the grimy (but vermin-free) carpet, I say: Fuck that.
According to CBC/Radio-Canada, the fuzzy arachnids measured between 10 and 20 centimeters long, or between around four and eight inches. Though the understandable reaction of many passengers was to scream and stand on their seats, flight attendants were able to maintain an atmosphere of relative calm, said Julie Roberts, vice-president of Air Transat’s flight attendant union.
“They gave First Aid to the person who said that a spider climbed his legs,” she said.
A passenger eventually managed to capture one of the creatures, while the other continued to haunt the plane until it touched down in Trudeau Airport, where it was “recovered by a federal agent.”
Spokeswoman Debbie Cabana told the news outlet that though the flight staff is not trained specifically to wrangle airborne spiders, they handled the situation appropriately. “In the case at hand, which is an extraordinary and isolated event, our staff reacted promptly and efficiently,” she said. Note: Not THAT isolated.
The most alarming thing about the incident, though, is that the spiders weren’t even discovered until the very end of the flight. That means they were just prowling around worry-free ankles for upwards of four hours before anyone even knew to lose their shit. Just lurking, skittering, prancing (I assume) around dozens and dozens of unsuspecting legs.
It really makes you wonder how often you’ve come in contact with a tarantula and not even known it. It really makes you wonder how often you’ve assumed that light brush across your bare feet was nothing, and how often it was something else. If tarantulas can be on an airplane, can’t they just as easily be anywhere? A coffee shop? An office building? A bedroom? A shoe?
OK cool have a nice day!
Image via Mirek Kijewski/Shutterstock.