Giant Camel Spider Attacks – Soldiers Bring Home Monster?

One of the Mojave Desert’s most enduring urban legends is one of the giant camel spider, a ferocious monster who allegedly hitched a ride home in the packs or more likely, the shipping containers the military sent home from battlefields in the Middle East.

But exactly what IS a camel spider?

Some quick camel spider facts:

Well, it’s a creature that is neither “fish nor fowl”, meaning, it sits in its own niche somewhere between a scorpion and a spider. The official term is “Solifugae” and it’s one ugly little customer.

Usually found between 1 and 5 inches in length, this fierce little hunter usually contents itself with eating insects, but some of the larger specimens are known to east small reptiles and even rodents! And with its fierce set of huge jaws and fangs, when the camel spider attacks it makes short work of any prey unlucky enough to fall into its grasp.

But do they attack humans? And did they attack our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan?

It’s a Mojave Desert mystery worth examining….

Here are some interesting facts about these nightmarish little desert monsters that might interest you…

Are camel spiders poisonous?

So far none that have a poisonous bite or venom have yet to be documented. Some have claimed that they have experienced reactions to the bite of a camel spider, or lost pets to the creatures, but so far this seems to be more urban legend than truth.

Do camel spiders scream?

I had never heard this one until I started researching the various urban legends and tales told about them, but this one too seems to be a bit of a myth – although hearing a spider “scream” might just be one of the more terrifying things one might encounter in the Mojave Desert!

How did it get it’s name?

Supposedly in the Middle East, the larger ones would run up to a camel, rip open its belly with their giant fangs, thereby disemboweling the poor animal – then feast on its body when it collapsed to the ground. Nice, huh?

What are some of the other names for the camel spider?

In the Mojave Desert they are most often called “sun spiders” or “wind scorpions”. Colorful, but factually incorrect as they are neither a spider OR a scorpion.

Do giant camel spiders exist?

While there are surely some very large (and in some cases, yet undocumented species out there) nothing along the lines of some of the most outlandish and frankly, horrifying, accounts that have been circulating on the Net. But who knows?

Would YOU want to suffer the attack of a giant camel spider?

NOT ME!

Any tips to help avoid a camel spider attack?

Well, don’t be too worried about an actual attack (unless you’re an insect, small reptile or rodent – or the incredible shrinking man) but one thing I can tell you from personal experience is ALWAYS shake out your gear (sleeping bag, pack, shoes) before returning from the desert. The three times I have had a sun spider in my house was when it hitched a ride home in my backpack, was hiding in some dirty laundry in the garage, or decided to chase some beetles in off the back porch when I left the door open to the backyard for longer than I should have.

And yes, I’ve had them run up my leg when standing near the fire while out camping, although to be fair, once they realized they were on a living human and not some rock or cactus – they skittered down and ran off faster than I could react.

Thank GAWD!

Cheers all!

PS – you might want to check out my Mojave Mysteries article and episode on another creepy giant spider encounter in the Mojave too!

True Creepy Diving Stories

You might think a blog about Mojave Mysteries would be the last place to hear about a true creepy diving experience, but you might just be surprised.

One of the most head-scratching of the “Death Valley Mysteries” ever circulated has to be the tale of “Devil’s Hole” – a little deep-water hole located in one of the most  arid regions of the Mojave Desert – good old Death Valley!

And it has a revolving cast of characters like: Charles Manson, Native American Giants, missing divers (quite sad and creepy for sure) as well as a genuine desert mystery of where its waters come from – and where they go!

Check out this episode about a true creepy diving story:

 

If you’d like to read a TON of really bizarre and terrifying true creepy diving stories then that link will take you to a wealth of personal underwater encounters and happenings of the scariest scuba kind – things like fighting with giant fish, finding bodies in old fishing nets, drownings and all sorts of bizarre things divers have had to deal with (even killer kelp!)

Remember how when you first saw “Jaws” and were scared to go back in the water? Yeah, stuff like that.

Some people fear being alone at night out in the desert, the darkness closing in and strange animals and sounds, but how about being under water or out at sea? Pretty much the same type of creepy scenario, right?

Mojave Desert or an open ocean (or lake for that matter) – a fine place to enjoy a true creepy story or mystery!

Cheers!

UFO Crash at Kingman, Arizona

When the United States was locked in an escalating cold war with the former Soviet Union staring in the early 1950’s, both sides tested their atomic and nuclear arsenals with open air tests and blasts.

And aside from the horrendous environmental damage, other more exotic tales have been reported over the years.

One such true creepy story comes from the Mojave Desert to the north of Kingman, Arizona. Did some kind of alien ship (or “flying saucer” in the parlance of the time) sustain damage from the 1953 open air test at Yucca Flats in Nevada and come down along with its alien pilots?

Were others involved who might of stolen wreckage from the crashed ship and hid it from the Army’s UFO crash retrieval teams?

But surely the strangest part of the whole Mojave Desert mystery, are the stories circulating that one of the alien crew members survived – was captured by US forces – and ultimately became an asset to the teams at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base who were tasked with reverse engineering the captured UFO!

A another strange, and somewhat scary story from the master of Mojave Mysteries, Author M.L. Behrman.

Let the conspiracies begin!

The Mojave Elephant – Strange Tracks Lead to BIZARRE Story in The Desert!

Elephants have not been native to North America for at least the last 10,000 years, and especially in the Mojave Desert…

But what if you found elephant tracks when out prospecting and decided to follow them?

Find out when some gold miners did just that – and what they FOUND!

Another amazing strange but true tale from the master of Mojave Mysteries – M.L. Behrman!

The Mystery Beast of Arizona – Blood-Thirsty Creature Tracked And Shot!

Many times reports of strange and mysterious creatures are brought forward by people, but we never get to actually see the beast or find out what the damn thing actually was…

..Till now!

In this thrilling, and somewhat bloody, tale of terror Author M.L. Behrman brings you the amazing story of an animal that held sway over a section of the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona until brought down by the bullet of a mighty hunter!

One of the most exciting tales, creepy or otherwise, ever to come out of the vast and rugged deserts of the American Southwest.

Many people have remarked that this Mojave desert mystery reminded them of another famous tale – that of the “Ghost and the Darkness”, a couple of man-eating lions that plagued the workers building a railroad in East Africa back in 1896. (did you also know that a recent article about the killer lions discovered the reason they ate humans?)

The fact that the creature in Arizona took so long to track down and kill, after many had tried – and what the thing turned out to be – has always made this case one of the most intriguing I’ve ever studied. And the man responsible was also one of the bravest people I think I’ve ever read about.

Did he get the right animal? Or is there yet still a huge creature lurking in the hills of Arizona waiting to strike once again?

Enjoy!