I wiped the sweat with my forearm as the typical Australian Summer sun scorched anything it could find. With a faded green and white garden glove, I clawed a clump of dirt in a garden, wafting that earthy, moist smell. Movement caught my eye. It was a shiny black with a brown bulb. It disappeared into the bark-laden mulch. I knew exactly what it was: The Sydney Funnel Web spider. It was one of those 'did I really just see that?' moments.
Sydney Funnel Web spiders are becoming a rarity, due to deforestation and an extreme dislike from one of their top predators: humans. I had never seen this spider before irl, yet I'd heard plenty about their kill potential. Having come face-to-face with the deadliest spider, I was interested to see how deadly it was, and I only found out after the encounter that it was the deadliest in the world.
From the article itself (https://ednieuw.home.xs4all.nl/Spiders/Nasty-Spiders/Demystification-toxicity-spiders.htm), we can get a clear reading on how deadly this spider can be:
"The Australian Funnel-web spiders (family Hexathelidae, Simon, 1892) are probably the most dangerous spiders we can encounter. The most famous spider is the Sydney funnel web (Atrax robustus). People are only rarely bitten: there are only two cases of envenomation annually in the last 10 years. Funnel-web spiders belong to the family Hexathelidae and two (Atrax and Hadronyche) of the eleven genera are considered dangerous."
Interestingly, something which is usually the opposite for spider species, the male is far more potent in terms of toxicity, being anywhere from 4-6 higher than female venom. The male also tends to be the ones people find, because the females rarely (if ever) come out of their holes, unless it's to capture nearby prey. So it's important to know the difference between the two:
Thankfully, I encountered the rarer female version, which wouldn't have been as deadly had it struck those giant fangs into me (fangs which can penetrate toe-nails: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YoMQBpe1XM&feature=youtu.be&t=256).
Finally, in researching the internet for information on the spider, I came across someone who got even closer with pretty much exactly what I found: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6MN1DmQAxI&t=311s). Just goes to show what is a frightening experience for me, is a cool idea for a dare to someone else.