The 13th Floor

Remember When a 50-Foot Spider Invaded Liverpool?

On September 3, 2008, the largest spider ever seen by human eyes was first spotted by astounded onlookers on the side of Concourse House, an abandoned high-rise apartment tower in Liverpool, England. The public was informed that the creature was female, and looking for a place to lay her eggs — so a group of scientists decided to quarantine her at the tower, which was slated to be demolished the next year.

Then, slowly and deliberately, the massive creature began to move, marching across much of Liverpool, baffling and terrifying thousands of spectators while leaving a trail of fire, smoke and slime in her wake. Eventually, she retreated into a tunnel beneath the River Mersey. Here’s a video documenting her activities…

As it turns out, this nightmarishly huge arachnid was the mechanical creation of French performance art troupe La Machine, who named it “La Princesse.” The “scientists” who warned the public of the arachnid menace were merely performers in on the act, which included musical accompaniment and fireworks, as the 37-ton machine blasted a combination of fire, wind, snow and water from multiple onboard cannons. In other words: a real-life version of Mike Mendez’s 2013 monster flick BIG ASS SPIDER!, which depicted a very similar mega-arachnid (okay, maybe it was a little larger) assaulting Los Angeles.


Financed by public funds, La Princesse was a huge hit, despite some controversy surrounding the cost to taxpayers and the potential for triggering panic in people suffering from arachnophobia. I can’t imagine why…


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