Thor vs. The Spider
Snow White and the Huntsman star meets a huntsman spider
Poor Thor. Chris Hemsworth, who plays the Norse god in the Thor and Avengers movies, says a spider in his garage chomped on his hand around Christmas, drawing blood — and some choice words.
“I was cleaning up in the garage and I felt it first and I picked up a bag, and I felt this big furry thing and felt the bite,” he says. “It bled (a lot), like it took a chunk out of my finger. It was a monster of a thing. Then I screamed a bit and said a few words we can’t say on TV.”
So what kind of spider was it? Hemsworth says it was huge: “like, the size of my palm and its legs kind of spread out from there.”
It’s impossible to know without any photos, but it may have been a member of the Sparassidae family, or the huntsman spiders, which are endemic in Australia and can get quite large. They do use venom to immobilize their prey, but they aren’t poisonous to humans.
The flat huntsman spider seen above, Delena cancerides, is found throughout Australia and is actually very cool because it’s a social spider. They hunt prey, as their name suggests, but they also share it with others, which is something you don’t see every day in the spider world.
Australia is home to some of the world’s most dangerous spiders, including the Hexathelidae family of deadly funnel web spiders, and the redback spider, which apparently bites about 2,000 people a year. Antivenoms for those spiders have been around since the 1950s and 1981, respectively.
The arachnid in the actor’s garage couldn’t have been one of these critters, neither of which are any bigger than an inch or so.
Hemsworth is hardly the first celebrity to be shamelessly bitten by a spider. Last year, Beck reported he was bitten by a black widow while recording his latest album, Morning Phase.