Phantom spider halts BA flight

Giant spiders found yet another way to terrorise British travellers last week – they learnt to fly.

In the 1950’s, low budget horror movies were a staple of Hollywood cinema, often starring unknown actors and teary-eyed damsels, battling to save the earth from giant monsters, killer robots, and green aliens with ray guns.

The genre reached a crescendo in the sixties but unusual creatures continue to grace our screens, stomping all over New York, or emerging from a tin box on Horsell Common, tentacles flapping in the breeze.

Of course, there’s no such thing as the bogeyman, as the mantra goes. The monsters we see on TV every Saturday night are stuntmen in rubber suits, trying to catch a break as a serious actor, the aliens are puppets, clever robots on thin pieces of wire, and creepy-crawlies cannot fly.

Or can they?

A British Airways (BA) passenger got the shock of his life last week, when a real life movie monster marched between his legs – a giant tarantula, catching an early morning flight from London to Edinburgh.

Specialist bug zappers were called in from Gatwick Airport to deal with the stowaway spider, but an exhaustive search has since revealed no trace of the arachnid. Officials have conceded that the tarantula could still be aboard the aircraft, hiding.

“It is unusual for something like this to be found on a domestic service, but an exhaustive search of the aircraft would probably involve stripping it to its components." BA offered few condolences to travelling arachnophobes.

Despite their fearsome reputation, tarantulas are not dangerous to humans, although many species possess a nasty bite. Officials have speculated that the eight-legged beastie might have arrived on a cargo shipment, and simply caught the wrong plane home.

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