A social media user has captured the moment an unwanted stowaway was escorted out of a plane cabin, mid-flight - a palm-sized tarantula.
The Tiktok and Instagram user, who posts as @directorbrazil, posted the video to both channels, with the caption: “So this just happened on my flight...”
In the video, fellow travellers can be heard muttering “Whoah!” and “Oh my God” as they whip out phones to film the huge spider as it is brought through the cabin in a clear plastic bag by a passenger, led by cabin crew.
The flight appears to have been operated by Mexican budget airline Volaris - whose hot pink cabin crew uniform and logo is visible in the video - with passengers thought to have been travelling between Mexico and Brazil.
Tarantulas are native to many countries across the world, including the US, much of Central and South America, and Australia.
They can grow to be up to 28 centimetres in length, and contrary to popular myth their bite is not fatal to humans - though it can be painful and cause nausea or vomiting.
The video has attracted hundreds of comments by terrified arachnophobes on social media.
“Would have had to wrap me in a bag and drag me out too,” commented choreographer Robert Green.
“OK, that’s a new flight-related fear,” replied TikTok user Emily.
“That spider was too big to not have paid for a seat,” read one Instagram reply.
But some were tickled by the spider’s five minutes of inflight fame.
“Not the spider getting papparazzied more than I could even dream of,” quipped another TikTok user.
It’s not the first time the creatures have caused chaos mid-flight - in 2016 two tarantulas escaped a passenger’s luggage aboard an Air Transat flight from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to Canada.
“The spider crawled up my leg - I was in a skirt,” one passenger, Catherine Moreau from Repentigny, outside Montreal, told Radio Canada at the time.
“My husband managed to trap it in a plastic container, but its legs were sticking out. My daughter was screaming, she was in a state of shock.”
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