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Africa
Camel Spiders, or as we called them, sun spiders I grew up in the then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and we had them there as well. The hotter the climate the bigger. The first time I saw one was when we lived in Wankie (now Hwange) which regularly was 40 degrees c plus in the summer, and I was lying on my bed reading when I heard a noise like a buzzing clockwork toy, and on looking over the side saw this thing as big as a dinner plate, moving slowly over the floor, from side to side, with the two "forearms" raised in the air.

They used to hide in the shadows just outside of a lit area and pounce on whatever came and sat in the lit area. If you happened to come round the corner they jumped away with a most frightening rattling noise. They did indeed run after a person, I am told to get underneath the person or their shadow. One evening was walking next to a concrete stormwater drain when I noticed a rat chasing my shadow. I threw a stone at it and hit it with a lucky shot, but when I jumped down into the ditch to look at the "rat" it was actually one of them, the biggest I ever saw. I picked it up, presuming it to be dead, and took it home. It laid along the length of my hand, with the legs dangling over the sides. At home I put it on the dining room table to look at it and the son of a ***** came alive! And was it angry! What if it had woken up while it was lying in my hand? It took about half a can of spray to kill it, and before it croaked it went into a sort of fit and the jaws separated, one set upwards and the other down. Killing it was a shame really but how else to get it out of the house?. These have to be the most repulsive spiders I ever have seen, and fearless too. They will take on a big scorpion, no problem, I saw it many times, and kill small mice with ease. Aaaaaargh! They have hairs on them which carry an irritant to human skin. One walked across my brother and I as we were sprawled on the floor, and we both had lines of blisters across us afterwards. Keep away! Regards, Mike T., Johannesburg (where thankfully one only gets smaller cousins of this thing), South Africa


UAE
Wow! Reading these accounts of camel spider encounters brings my brief brush with them back with amazing clarity.   At the time, I was working in an underground bunker in UAE providing engineering support for the air force.  If you have not been to the UAE, let me tell you that the fauna consists largely of feral cats and flies.  Running into any other living creature in the desert is shock enough let alone coming face to face with one of these huge, hairy monsters. 
It was a Wednesday which meant that my buddy and I went to lunch at one the ubiquitous Indian 1 room restaurants ( as if it wasn’t hot enough already J ).  We came back feeling hot and full. It was just another Wednesday in Abu Dhabi. The coolness of bunker was very welcome. The bunker was a labyrinth of tunnel-like corridors leading to various rooms.  We proceeded down a long dark corridor (maybe 35 meters) to get to our computer lab.

As we neared the end of the corridor something large rounded the corner in front of us. We froze … WHAT is that?? Then in unison, one step back … Hey, that thing is comin’ at us! Another step back … Hey, that thing is really moving!!! Next, full fledged retreat - two grown men running down a corridor, hands in the air, screaming like little girls. We didn’t stop till we were back in the sun, huffing and puffing more from fear than anything else. Thank God that an Arab soldier didn’t see us because we would have never lived it down. We made a silent pact out of embarrassment not to recant this tail but I just couldn’t resist after reading the other stories. For some time after that we had no idea what the beast was that attacked us. We spent a lot of time check and double check under our desks. We later found this guy nearly dead under some cardboard boxes in the back corridor. With no small amount of courage, we scooped him up on a piece of A4 paper and examined him in grisly detail; ever so cautious, just in case he was “faking” it. As it turned out, he really was almost dead (he probably saw himself in a mirror). His body and legs covered that whole sheet of paper. That was, without a doubt, the most hideous creature I have ever seen close up. At first I thought it was a spider but this beast has 10 legs. That is what prompted me to look on the web and eventually to this site. Anyway, I just thought others might enjoy this tail. Cheers!



Iraq
I served in iraq in 2004 near basra and we had many encounters with camel spiders, i was on guard with a mate and he came across a large camel spider about 8in in size and he decided to stomp on it, as i watched he gave it a good british army size ten right on its back, at this the spider rared up at him and let out a squeal !!! we were both a bit stunned and decided to back up somewhat, at this the spider decided it was time to

leave and ran off at pace without any sign of injury, we decided that camel spider squashing activities should be avoided after that as they appeared to be harder than the iraqis we were fighting!!!
On another occasion we payed a nightime visit to the british war memorial outside shiabah as it was on our patrol route, while we were looking around one of the section noticed that the walls seemed to be shimmering in the dark, on closer inspection we found that there were so many camel spiders on the thing that what we could see was the rapid movement of the things, we decided to pay our respects at a distance!!!
They can out run just about anything! they do fight with just about anything! and they dont back down when they are cornered! and they are nearly all bloody ugly! not much differant than the british army really!!! and trust me you can always tell the old sweats that have served in the desert, they always shiver when they see the facehugging bloody things in the alien movies!!!
 Steve.


Afghanistan
Hello, I really hate to be the only one not perpetuating all the hype about Camel Spiders…but as you can see from my pictures they are really not that bad.  They are like any other creature and can be very tame.  I had this one for about six months while I was in Afghanistan.  She was quite

beautiful and sweet.  They are not poisonous…but their bite does hurt very badly and tends to get infected due to lack of hygiene in the areas they are usually encountered.  I was never bitten, but it did take a while to calm her down enough to be able to hold her.  When I let her go she did follow me for a little while until I put her under some shade.  I never saw her jump or run in six months.  She did fight quite aggressively against anything put in her enclosure…but other than that she was the sweetest thing.  She would let me pet her and hold her for hours. 

I am not saying there are not some vicious ones out there…but most of what you hear about them is urban legion and also based on a surprise encounter for both parties.  I loved my camel spider even though most thought I was crazy…but I miss her and wish I could have brought her home with me. Nicole



Iraq
I am currently in the USAF stationed at Ali Air Base, Iraq. So far I have seen eight camel spiders and one in particular made me realize how nasty these things are. It was the middle of a VERY hot day and I was working out near the flightline. I saw something moving on the concrete out of the corner of my eye and did a double take when I saw what it was. Anyways, I chased behind it for a little bit but I wouldn’t get too close because of the stories I had heard. This was also the first one I had seen so I didn't want to test any of those rumors out! Well it ended up crawling into a large crack in the concrete. I left it to go get my buddy but it was gone by the time we came back.

So later that afternoon during lunch, my friend was sitting in a truck with the door open and his feet hanging out. I heard him scream and then do a crazy seizure-like dance at the same time. A big camel spider ( looked like the one I had seen earlier ) fell from his shirt and tried climbing him again. This time he stomped on it pretty good. Good enough for guts to go shooting out and it's movement to cease. Now this is the weird part…. That thing was dead as a door nail. We took pictures of it and let it sit on the tailgate of the truck in 120+ degree weather for over an hour. I decided to go play with it some more so I stuck my knife blade in between its mouth pincers to pry them apart. That thing bit down on my knife blade and did not let go. I was able to pick it up, smashed to hell, and it wouldn’t let go. I don’t know if it was nerves or whatever but it sure made me believe in some of the rumors I have heard about their nastiness! I was sure it was dead! I have since seen seven more and I make sure I smash them until they are a smudge because I really don’t want to wake up at night with one on me!


Iraq
I was in Baghdad International Airport in 05 and me and my buddies saw this camel spider walking slowly across the sun drenched ground. The temp was 130 degrees and there was time to kill so I began throwing rocks at it. I knew it would come after me but I wanted to see for how long. This thing was about 6in long. Soon enough it stopped, turned toward my direction and slowly started moving slowly. I stepped back slowly laughing as I continued throwing rocks. I finally pissed it off which

is what I wanted it to do. It bolted off toward me like a car and I ran. It started to slow down but still followed me. It didn’t want to give up so I threw a long cardboard box across its intended path to see what it will do. That smart thing just went around it and continued. Later it just gave up and went slowly on its way. I also remember that same time when one of my buddies caught a camel spider and put it in a box. My buddy then threw the box (with the lid open) inside our tent with 6 people in it. What happened next was hysterical. We heard everyone cursing and tripping over and things crashing in the tent and then stumbling outside. They were so mad and promised to get us back. They never did. The aggressiveness of these creatures amazes me, you would think they were trained tough and sent to our base from the insurgents outside.
Louis J. USAF



Kibbutz
Since I was a child there are certain insects etc. that I just can't handle seeing inside the house. Outside is another story. I may not like them but it's not like being in the same room with them. In three years in the paratroops in Israel and further years of reserve service I don't recall coming across any "Ankaboot" or camel spiders (plenty of scorpions, murderous mosquitoes etc.) but in retrospect I realize that I first encountered one while working in a kibbutz in 1979. I was impressed by its size but nothing else, since it was slowly walking along minding its own business, even when I came quite near to it.
Years later in 1987 I had just returned from a couple of years in Europe and was in my apartment in Kyriat Shemona at the foot of the ridge at the west side of the great Syrian African rift valley. It was a summer evening, I walked out of the shower wrapped in a towel, the room was in darkness, I suddenly saw something the size of an

adult hand moving slowly on the floor in the center of the room. I froze. Then I switched on the light and beheld what to me looked like something out of a horror movie, my heart was thudding and I was overcome by waves of fear and revulsion - I couldn't believe just how vile this thing was - straight out of a nightmare and there I was alone with it. It went on walking in a quite unconcerned way but I could't stand it. summoning up all my courage I used a broom like a golf club to swat it out through the balcony door. once it was out the door I could breathe slightly easier but then I made another mistake. In order to get a closer look I looked at it through my binoculars - God! all I could see were hairy appendages waving and undulating and again i started to shake with horror. I had to get rid of the damn thing or I would have no peace being in the house. Having run out of ideas and courage and since I couldn't swat it from the corner it was in I resorted to fly killer spray.
To me it seemed unlikely that it would help to deal with such a monster but to my surprise, when I sprayed it it instantly scrunched up, contracted and expired seemingly becoming half its size.
The camel spider is called Ankaboot in Arabic and Artzav in Hebrew.
Jonathon


Iraq
I was in Iraq in 2003-2004 and had several experiences with these enormous, terrifying creatures. In my time in the military I've seen a lot of interesting bugs, but camel spiders are by far the worst. Never before have I been chased by a bug and actually ran screaming. I'm suppused to be a tough as nails infantryman who

has already made it through the invasion of Iraq and this thing scared the crap out of me. I was walking around our extremely small FOB (Forward Operating Base) in Haditha, Iraq in my flip-flops and PTs when my buddy waved me over. He had spotted a camel spider amd wanted me to share in his adventure. We walked up to it slowly, being careful not to disturb it. The CS (Camel Spider) was about five inches in length and cruising around in the sand. After watching it for about a minute I decided to see what it would do if I threw a rock at it. Bad Idea! As soon as the rock landed the CS shot after us faster than anything bug I had ever seen. We both screamed and took off running. I jumped onto a nearby Bradley and the CS sped off into the night. I didn't try to find it. Another time I was on gaurd during the day on a road near this large field and I saw a huge one running away from me. This one was probably at least 8 inches long. It was enormous. I ran and grabbed something to catch this monster with but in the 15 seconds it took me to grab something it had disappeared. As far as I've seen, all the rumors are true. These things are extremely aggressive, fast, dangerous and, yes, they jump. They have no fear and attack humans! Try to step on one and miss and they might just jump after you! P.S. This is a great website. I've really enjoyed all the stories. Thanks



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