A Massive 'Tarantula Moth' Was Found In BC & It's Horrifying

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A Massive 'Tarantula Moth' Was Just Found In BC & It's Horrifying

You really can't make this stuff up. A massive “tarantula moth” was found in B.C. on Monday, June 22, and it’s equal parts cool and terrifying. The massive bug sports huge wings and even bigger legs. In case you needed fuel for your next nightmare, this should do the trick. 

Chantal Contorines from Oak Bay was out shopping with her nine-year-old daughter Sofia when they saw possibly the worst thing ever. 

Narcity spoke with Contorines about the wild encounter and she told us what happened. 

When walking from their car in the parking lot outside of HomeSense, Sofia noticed something crawling on the ground. 

The Contorines walked towards it cautiously and that’s when she saw the biggest bug ever. 

She then decided to take a snap of it, from the safety of her car, to prove what she saw.

Contorines posted the image to an Oak Bay Facebook group asking what it was. 

In the image, you can see what looks like a spider body and moth wings. There are also huge fuzzy antennas coming from the bug's head. 

[rebelmouse-image 25986767 photo_credit="Chantal Contorines | Facebook" expand=1 original_size="807x960"] Chantal Contorines | Facebook

“Is this a moth?? It has legs. And is the size of my palm. I feel that maybe a tarantula mated with a moth,” said Contorines on Facebook. 

While she thought it was some wild hybrid of a bug, Sofia was convinced it was the worst thing she had ever seen. 

After posting it to Facebook, many other locals in the comment section said that it was a Polyphemus moth “based on the unique eye marking on its very large wings.”

The bug went unreported to officials because locals on the Facebook group said the bug was harmless if it was, in fact, a Polyphemus moth.

Vancouver Is Awesome spoke with a local expert who works with the Royal B.C. Museum about the bug. 

Joel Gibson told the news outlet that Polyphemus moths are often the size of a palm and have a wingspan of 10 to 15 centimetres. 

Gibson confirmed that the bug is never found in huge numbers, it's more common to see only one at a time. 

If you’re keen to find one, look in oak trees as they can often be found eating leaves. 

Adult Polyphemus are only out from May to July and live for just a couple weeks before they lay eggs, explained Gibson. They then hatch to be huge caterpillars that turn into chrysalises in the fall. 

While they may be terrifying to some, the best thing to do is just let them go, as they will eventually be on their way.

“He’s quite beautiful once you get over his sheer size, especially his large muscular gams and round fuzzy body," Contorines told Narcity.

“Ours just happened to be uniquely large. Much larger than the normal Polyphemus moth. It clearly didn’t skip leg day at the gym.”

Stephanie Hilash
Staff Writer
Stephanie Hilash is a guest staff writer
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