SPIDERBOAT: Ship denied docking in Guam after thousands of spiders stream forth from cargo

A ship from Korea carrying supplies to build housing for military buildup workers in the American territory of Guam was denied permission to dock when inspectors discovered thousands of spiders in its cargo:

The Port's Marketing Administrator Bernadette Meno said customs officers along with the vessel's agent boarded the ship and gave clearance to the stevedores to go on board and unlock the cargo for offloading.

It was then that thousands of the critters were found.

"When our port stevedores began offloading the insulation and beams for the housing units on the docks they discovered that hundreds of large spiders and thousands of small ones were on the cargo and on the ship," Meno said.

I like this article for two reasons: the use of the word "stevedores," and the use of the word "critters." I do not, however, like spiders. Nor, I imagine, do the poor ship's crew members who just spent months trapped on a boat with thousands of frickin' spiders.

After the sneaky arachnids made their presence known, the housing materials in which they'd been chilling were then re-loaded back on the ship. The ship was then sent back to anchorage, further out from land. Incidentally: all of this stuff, other than the spiders, was part of a $200 million contract with Korean construction firms to build housing for temporary workers laboring on American military buildup projects.

Photo courtesy guampdn.com. Anyone know the species? According to the report, all of this went down on July 16th, and officials planned to do analysis to determine the spider species.

Thousands of spiders found aboard cargo vessel (guampdn.com via AP)

Here's a related article in the military paper Stars and Stripes that helps put the story in context (both military, and arachnological): "It was because of the quantity,' [the Guamanian Agricultural Department director] said of the spiders, the largest of which had bodies as big as quarters. 'It behooved us to take the most extreme measure."