"WAY BACK WHEN" WEDNESDAY - 100 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH: Watch Out for Tarantulas! A Santa Barbara merchant got a spider surprise when stocking his shelves with bananas one morning in July 1919. The local paper reported, "The tarantula, with every tentacle popping, crawled out of the sack and extended fraternal greetings. Hopping back [he] … grabbed a wicked pruning knife and was about to carve the unwelcome visitor, when he decided that he would place the bug on exhibition."
He placed the spider in a glass jar and put it on display for all to see. "The tarantula was the largest that has ever been seen locally. Each tentacle [leg] measured six inches." (Image: New York Public Library)