If you thought we've backed off on those terrifying real-life stories of spiders taking over the world, you've got another thing coming... millions of things, to be precise.
Photos: Daily Star
In this report form the UK's Daily Star, swarms of “false widows” – a close relative of the well-known (and often deadly) black widow spider – have suddenly surged across southern Britain, and are rapidly moving into Wales and other regions.
Climate change and increased adaptability to cold are cited as possible causes of the spiders' sudden mass breeding; according to the article, the surge reportedly happened in a matter of days, with some residents reporting huge numbers of them in their homes and gardens.
The false widow (species Steatoda Nobilis), distinguished by a white skull-like shape on its back, is one of the most dangerous spiders in the UK. Though not usually lethal in itself, its bite can trigger violent allergic reactions. South London resident David Banks, a spider enthusiast familiar with the skull marking, was horrified to find a widow crawling toward his six-month-old son.
"I had the hairs on the back of my neck up,” Banks told the Daily Star. “It is a fearsome-looking beast... You don’t often see spiders of that size in this country and looking like that. My rule of thumb is anything with a nasty-looking marking on the back is making a point."