Thousands Of Tarantulas Are Emerging From Underground In The San Francisco Bay Area

Just in time for Halloween!

Just when you needed more nightmare fuel: Tarantulas are running around the San Francisco area!

Drier, warmer-than-usual weather in Northern California is causing a strange natural phenomenon — scores of lovelorn male tarantulas are roving the area in search of single ladies. (Lady tarantulas, that is.) The Bay Area blond tarantulas, or Aphonopelma smithi, are called that because they are the only tarantula native to the region.

Typically, the male tarantulas have already mated and perished at this point in the season. They’re still out and about this year, though, hoping to meet a special gal hiding in her burrow. The desperate suitors wander hill and dale in search of a receptive female and, if they’re lucky enough to mate, die shortly after.

Hikers have been encountering these males, who are up to 4 inches in length, on trails in California’s Mount Diablo State Park. They’ve also been seen in roads and parks.

“They’re not returning home,” Cameron Morrison, supervising state park peace officer for Mount Diablo State Park, told ABC News about the arachnids he calls “gentle giants.” “That’s their final voyage, basically.”

Far from being freaked, some Californians are embracing the extra time to hang with the imposing-looking arachnids. Instagram user @flyking45 happily posted a pic of a fine specimen he encountered: