Australia is known around the world for its large and deadly creepy-crawlies, but even locals have been shocked by the size of the giant venomous spiders that have invaded an Outback town in Queensland.

Scores of eastern tarantulas, which are known as "bird-eating spiders" and can grow larger than the palm of a man's hand, have begun crawling out from gardens and venturing into public spaces in Bowen, a coastal town about 700 miles northwest of Brisbane.

Earlier this week locals spotted an Australian tarantula wandering towards a public garden in the center of town where people often sit for lunch. They called in a pest controller, but not before using a can of insect spray to paralyze the spider.

Audy Geiszler, who runs Amalgamated Pest Control in Bowen, said that the spider was a large male with powerful long fangs and was so big that when he placed it — dead — in the palm of his hand, its legs hung over his fingers.

Geiszler said that he had been inundated with calls from worried locals reporting sightings of the giant tarantulas, which have been pushed out of their natural habitat over the past month by heavy, unseasonal rain.

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