J'ba Fofi - The Beast of Africa
J'ba Fofi - The giant spider of Africa
Now, I don't know about you, but me and spiders do not get along. They have always scared the hell out of me, and one of the only few things that can make me scream like a baby. That's not to say that if I see one, I will instantly end it's life. If one appears in my home, I always take great care in getting the little fella out of my house unharmed. Needless to say though, they do freak me out.
Now, in the UK, we are quite lucky because spiders are not that big. If you consider, for example, the Goliath bird eating spider in south America, our spiders here in the UK are nothing compared to these huge spiders, but people fear spiders, and it does not really matter about the size.
But what if there was a bigger species of spider? One that makes the Goliath bird eating spider look tiny in comparison. Maybe, just maybe, there actually could be.
The jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo,and also Uganda and Cameroon, are supposed to be where the J'ba Fofi dwells. These spiders are supposed to be huge, with some witnesses saying as big as a monkey. I really don't know how i would react seeing a spider as big as this. Chances are, I would just freeze with sheer terror!
The J'ba Fofi is said to resemble the tarantula in colour and looks, but the difference is, the J'ba Fofi is said to have a leg span of up to six feet. Now, just think about that for a second, then pick yourself of the floor! You can imagine a spider being as big as this would eat food that is very different to your average spider. Well, you would be right because they are said to prey on monkeys. The thought of seeing this huge spider wrap it's legs around a helpless monkey is very disturbing to me, but you have to wonder what would happen if a human crossed it's path.
Although we do not have evidence that the J'ba Fofi exists, we do have a lot of witness testimony. I know for science, this is not enough, but at the moment, it is all we have. I guess you have to remember that the jungles that the J'ba Fofi is supposed to inhabit, are very remote, with a good portion still unexplored, so who knows what else dwells deep in these jungles waiting to be found.
In 1938, Reginald and Margurite Lloyd were exploring a region of what was then known as the Belgian Congo.On the road, they spotted a dark shape move across the road in front of their truck. They stopped, thinking it was just an animal crossing the road. To their horror, they realized that it was a huge spider, with a leg span of 4 or five feet. Of course, they were so shocked, they forgot to take the camera out to take a photo. I guess in that situation, the last thing you are thinking about is getting your camera out to take a photo. By the time they came to their senses, the spider was gone.They were both so upset and disturbed by their sighting, that they returned to their home in Rhodesia.How would you react if the same thing happened to you? Off course, we know that spiders can get to a pretty huge size, but even these spiders are nothing compared to the J'ba Fofi, and I can't imagine anyone not being freaked out by seeing a huge spider like this.
Another sighting, but this time in Uganda in the 1890s. Arthur Simes was an English missionary doing a bit of exploring along the shores of Lake Nyasa. Lake Nyasa is the third largest lake in Africa, bordered by Tanzania in the north and northeast, by Mozambique in the east, and by Malawi in the south and west. Simes, along with his porters, where trekking along the lake, when some of his porters became stuck in a network of webbing. Supposedly this webbing was very strong, and they could not break free, no matter how hard they tried. Not long after, they noticed two giant spiders with a leg span of around four feet come into view. Simes was able to drive them off with his gun. One of the porters, sadly was bitten, and died shortly afterwords.
There have, in fact been many accounts of people seeing these giant spiders, and the natives have many stories about their encounters with them. Cryptologist, William J. Gibbons was able to get many accounts from the natives about the J'ba Fofi. He learned that not only did the natives know about the spiders, but they had knowledge also about their behavior. Their preferred method of hunting was said to be laying an ambush for prey by making a series of webs between trees, lying in wait within a ditch covered with a pile of leaves. The natives also said that the venom of the spiders was so powerful, it could drop a full sized man in seconds, with no chance of escape. Supposedly, these spiders were once very conman, but now very rare.
To this day, the natives talk about the J'ba Fofi as if it is a real animal. You have to ask yourself, why would they lie? People have been talking about this spider for hundreds of years, if not more. Many have seen the spider, and their have been accounts of these spiders attacking people. It is a horrible thought that there could actually be a spider the size of a monkey. But the areas in which they dwell, have largely been unexplored, so who knows what else is lurking in these jungles, waiting to be discovered.
All i know is, I will stick to the little monsters we get in the UK. Any bigger than that, I really don't want to know!