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Saturday, December 30, 2023

Decemystery (2022.3) 30: The Giant Lunar Spider


I’ve made it no secret that I am deathly scared of spiders. I cannot stand the sight of them; if I see one—even a small one—I will freak out and ask someone to kill it for me. In spite of that fear, though, I find them fascinating, and as I said earlier this month, stories of giant spiders remain one of my favorite topics to read about. I guess it’s my adoration for horror; being scared is quite fun. Well, it’s fun when the thing that’s doing the scaring isn’t anywhere close to me.

In the case of today’s story, the thing doing the scaring is nowhere close to me—or any of us, for that matter. Rather, it’s on Earth’s closest neighbor, the Moon! So, for the penultimate story of Decemystery 2022.3, we have the otherworldly account of The Giant Lunar Spider! Come along, dear reader, and get ready to experience a whole new level of arachnophobia!

Fly Me to the Moon

Just like a great many stories from this month, I found this on sustained_disgust’s Obscure Unsolved Mysteries Iceberg; I’m beginning to think that iceberg needs its own tag so people who visit it can find write-ups for the entries on it. I’ll consider it. Anyway, the entry has a link to a podcast called Monsters Among Us, which I hadn’t listened to until writing this. From what I listened to, it’s a great podcast and more than worth your time if you like cryptids and general High Strangeness topics. Today’s account—which was first told in an episode from March of 2018—begins at 36:50 for those who want to listen to it for themselves.

Now, full disclaimer: I’m conveying this from the podcast; there is no written account of this. So, just to make things absolutely clear, all of this comes from the show’s host, Derek Hayes. I say this because I had an unnecessarily difficult time trying to figure out how I wanted to format this. In the end, I’m going with my regular style of just retelling the story in my own words. Never let it be said that I understand the term, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Our story begins “7 or 8 years ago” (2012 or 2011) in Big Bear City, California, which is in southern California. A part of San Bernardino County and 27 miles (46 kilometers) from San Bernardino itself, Big Bear City has a population of 12,738 as of the 2020 census. Remember this for later since it’s extremely important. Anyways, it’s here where our eyewitness—who called herself Clarissa—resided. Side note: I don’t know if that was a pseudonym or not. It probably isn’t, as Clarissa later claimed that the podcast was recommended to her by Derek’s fiancé, Sarah.

Anyways, one day, Clarissa had six friends come to visit. The group went to the “north shore” of a lake to go fishing and to spend time together. It’s here where Clarissa and another friend—Jordan—would see the titular creature.

About an hour before sundown, Clarissa noticed some bats “zip around.” This drew her attention to the sky, where she saw our friendly neighbor, the Moon. She described it as “big and bright,” despite the Sun not having set yet, and that it was “a little bigger than a half moon.” As she looked up at our celestial neighbor, Clarissa claimed to have seen something; it was “three-quarters the size of the Moon,” but lacked any sort of distinguishing features. This thing was an enormous, black spider.

Or, well, it was kind of like a spider.

To briefly hit the brakes, Clarissa’s description of this thing isn’t like that of a spider—not in the scientific sense. Spiders, like scorpions, are arachnids; they have eight legs. Insects, meanwhile, have six legs. According to Clarissa, this creature—which she compared to a “black spider’s shadow”—had either four or six legs. In spite of this discrepancy, I’ll still be referring to the figure as a spider on account of the story’s title. Still, I thought I would make a note of this.

Hitting the gas pedal once more, the unholy abomination quickly skittered from the dark side of the Moon and made its way across the “bright side” before disappearing around the right-hand side. Clarissa noted that it “never extended past the Moon,” but instead “wrapped around it.” I have to admit, that mental image is utterly terrifying and makes me squirm.

Luckily for Clarissa, she wasn’t the only one who saw this thing. As I said before, a friend of hers named Jordan also saw it. The two both confirmed what the other had seen. Unfortunately, no one else saw it. Upon checking the Internet later, Clarissa found no reports of anyone else claiming to see the spider-like figure. In the end, Clarissa submitted her story in case any other reports came in down the line. 

And with that, our story comes to a close; Clarissa never saw the giant spider-like shadow-thing again, nor does it appear to have appeared for anyone else. Such a fact makes me unbelievably happy because I love space travel, and I do not want space to be filled with creatures of this size.

Still, even though our story is over, I want to go over one other thing. So, before we jump into the theories, let’s talk about a movie!

Life Imitates Art (or vice-versa)

This is something that sprang to mind when I initially saw this story on the iceberg, and I wanted to mention it here because I found it interesting. Back in 2011, a film was set to be released entitled Apollo 18. It was a found footage horror movie about an eighteenth Apollo mission; officially, there were only 17. Now, this was around the title that Paranormal Activity was at the height of its popularity, and everyone wanted a piece of that found footage pie. Just scrape together the bare minimum to get some actors and a set, and then you can dump the movie in theaters. Odds are, it would make a profit. Thanks, Oren Peli!

In the case of Apollo 18, though, things were different. Instead of a movie about ghosts—incorporeal beings that you can’t see—there were aliens! Aliens are—more often than not—physical entities you can see. This was evident in the first poster released for the movie; take a look at it below.

I have to admit, that poster is really eye-catching. It also helps that the release date was going to be my birthday, which had me quite hyped at the time. I like found footage movies, astronomy, conspiracy theories, and horror. So, this movie sounded like it would be right up my alley. Alas, it was not meant to be; Apollo 18 got delayed—a lot. It was delayed five times before finally being released on September 2, 2011. Additionally, Wikipedia “moved ten times.” I’m guessing this means that its release date was shifted an additional five times, but I can’t remember if this was true or not. This was twelve years ago, and honestly, my memory of that time is hazy at best.

Regardless, I bring this movie up for a few reasons. For starters, I think it’s a bit underrated; while the film didn’t get good reviews, I enjoyed it for what it was. There were some genuinely decent moments, and the idea behind the movie was pretty solid in my eyes. Sure, there are plenty of things I can (and absolutely would) criticize, but the idea of killer aliens on the Moon that slaughtered some astronauts is a terrifying idea. Though I’m not here to review a movie, no, I’m here to bring up an odd similarity between this movie and Clarissa’s sighting. This means there’s going to be a spoiler for this decade-old movie; feel free to skip to the theories if you want.

Are you good?

Are you sure?

Okay, let’s get to the spoilers!

You see, the aliens in Apollo 18 are spiders; well, sort of. The rocks on the Moon—or at least some of them—are spider-like beings that infect the astronauts and eventually kill them. This is a stark contrast to that poster I showed above, which, to me, makes it seem like it’s going to be something akin to a clawed monstrosity and not a creepy crawler. Admittedly, that may have at one point been the case; Apollo 18’s script was supposedly being rewritten during shooting. Bob and I believe Harvey Weinstein had a hand in the film’s production, and both are notorious for meddling with movies they helped produce (like Scream 4).

Though I digress, I think this section has gone on for too long. My point is: Given the film’s release in 2011, though, I can’t help but find the sighting of a gargantuan spider on the Moon to be a rather amusing coincidence. As for Apollo 18, I’ll write about it next year in full—hopefully. I would like to do more What Could Have Been write-ups; it’s been over two years since the last one. Until then, let’s finally get to the theories!


1. Clarissa and Jordan were drunk

I left this detail out from the end of the story so I could discuss it here—albeit extremely briefly. According to Clarissa, she and Jordan had both had some alcohol, but not enough to do much as be tipsy. 

From what I know, alcohol can cause hallucinations, but it’s very rare. Personally, I imagine if you drank so much that you saw a spider-like being crawl across the Moon, you would be seeing a lot more, like a hospital, so you could get your stomach pumped. Nevertheless, it’s possible this was the case; I could also be wrong, and it only takes a bit of alcohol to hallucinate. If that is the case, let me know!

2. A hoax

I’ll freely admit I don’t believe this theory to be the case, given the apparent connection between Clarissa and Derek’s fiancé. However, it’s still a possibility, and let’s face it, nobody is ever mature enough to not pull a prank. I mean, I screw with my friends all the time. If one hosted a podcast, there’s a good chance I would submit a story to mess with them for a cheap laugh on my end.

That said, that’s solely coming from me, and I know myself pretty well. I don’t know Clarissa, and I really do not want to accuse a stranger of perpetrating a hoax. I’m not someone who likes to accuse people of being liars or a hoaxer until I’m absolutely confident they’re full of it. In this case, I have no reason to believe that Clarissa was fabricating this. She has nothing to gain from it—not that I can see. I mean, as I said before, Derek’s fiancé recommended the show to her. Unless she really wanted to screw with him, I don’t get why she would make this up. Oh well, moving on before I go in circles like a dog chasing its tail!

3. Some gargantuan interdimensional arachnid

As exhausted as it may be by this point, it’s hard for me to not use this theory here. The claim that many cryptids—and High Strangeness creatures as a whole—are from another dimension demands it! Of course, I understand if you want to throw a rock at me for putting this forward once again.

Given the sheer impossible size of this thing, this theory has some firm ground to stand upon. Of course, if you don’t believe in the idea of alternate dimensions or realities (or both), then you toss it in the trash. If you do, however, then I feel it would depend on if the laws of physics are the same there. If they are, then this theory is implausible across the board—and the interdimensional board.

4. An alien

You know, as I’m beginning this theory, I’m getting paranoid and anxious at the thought of spiders. As it turns out, my fixation with stories of giant arachnids still fills me with terror. It mystifies me as to why people consider me “smart” when I do this to myself.

This theory is as straightforward as it gets: it was an alien. Whether or not you want to consider it anything like the creepy crawlers from Apollo 18 is entirely on you. The main point is that this was some sort of alien life form on our closest neighbor. That’s by no means a novel idea; there are a ton of theories—be they conspiratorial in nature or not—that aliens reside on the Moon. Heck, there’s a popular claim that the Nazis made it to the Moon and live there now! That theory was also used as the basis for a movie, 2012’s Iron Sky.

I’ve made it no secret that I firmly believe in the existence of aliens, though I am extremely skeptical of alien abductions. In the case of aliens on the Moon, I’m also highly skeptical. I do think aliens have visited Earth—I see absolutely no reason for them to not want to see what life on another planet is like. However, taking up residence on the Moon not only seems very risky (given if we found them, that could cause a pretty dicey situation) but to bring their Moon-sized pet spider with them would be bizarre. It would also reveal that they took up shop there and would garner some potentially unwanted attention.

On one final note, there’s also the matter of how a creature of that size is simply way too big to exist. But I already went over this, so I won’t repeat myself. Just know that the odds of this being an extraterrestrial are quite slim. However, if everything we know about physics is wrong, then it becomes considerably more possible! I’m not sure about the plausibility aspect, though.

5. A bat that flew in front of the two

I’ve already said it this month, but I have mistaken things for being bigger than they really are when I don’t get a good look at them. It also happens when I’m taken by surprise. As such, this is a theory of my own, and I don’t think it’s that crazy. Then again, I’m relatively biased in that regard.

To me, it’s well within the realm of reason for someone to get shocked and think they saw something else, especially if it went by incredibly quickly. Given my own experiences with mistaking various creepy crawlers for something else or for being way larger than they actually are, I can see Clarissa and Jordan mistaking a bat for whatever this was. Though, again, I am a bit biased. After all, it’s a theory of my own making.

6. Something went by the Moon and cast a shadow across it

This was a theory that Derek put forward, and it’s one I’m torn on. Assuming it was a funnily-shaped space rock, I feel that it should have made the news in some capacity and that amateur astronomers would have noticed it.

Alternatively, it could have been a UFO that made the shadow. Even with the “disclosure” stuff going on, I doubt there would be confirmation of this thing’s existence, given its apparent size. I doubt any government official would want to reveal that a gargantuan UFO was anywhere close to Earth; that would cause an absurd amount of panic.

Nevertheless, this theory is extremely plausible. I just question how nobody else saw it. Unless, of course, they were told to remain quiet on the matter.

7. J’ba Fofi became an astronaut

In an act of defiance, one J’ba Fofi became an astronaut; what was seen was its very first trek across the lunar surface.

My Take

I’ll be blunt here: no, I don’t think this thing exists. There is absolutely no way that a creature of this size cannot possibly exist. Not only would it be crushed under its own weight, it would probably screw up the Moon’s orbit; it would also have no food. This thing, plain and simple, is not real. If it’s some interdimensional abomination, then I guess its mass didn’t come with it since it didn’t obliterate the entire solar system with said mass.

However, even then, that requires the dimension it’s from to allow for something of such size to exist. Assuming the laws of physics are not the same across all dimensions and realities, then sure, fine. Maybe our reality overlapped with another, and two people briefly bore witness to the horrors of another world. However, do I think this was an actual thing from our world? No, absolutely not. I’d sooner believe that the Earth is flat before I believe that there’s a spider that can be seen crawling across the entire Moon. I also refuse to believe that absolutely no one other than these two people saw it. To paraphrase CinemaSins, “Nobody who watches the sky for a living saw this thing?”

With that said, I don’t know where I stand on what Clarissa saw. Assuming she wasn’t lying for whatever reason, I’d hazard a guess and say she saw a bat fly in front of her, didn’t get a good look at it, and thought it was some sort of enormous spider. Given the claim of how quick it was and the apparent lack of any features, I can imagine a bat may have zipped in front of her and Jordan, and they were taken aback and thought they saw something else.

Alternatively, the idea that something passed in front of the Moon is extremely plausible to me. In fact, it’s arguably more likely since—unless Clarissa and Jordan were tipsier than they claim—it would be a bit silly to mistake a bat for a giant spider. Either way, that’s where I stand on the story. I know it isn’t the most exciting explanation, but I’m not sure there exists any biological creature the size of a celestial body. Still, it’s an interesting story and definitely one of the more unsettling to imagine.


This was a really difficult story to write about; I kept looking around, expecting to see an eight-legged horror on my wall or somewhere close to me. Heck, even now, I’m feeling paranoid. Though luckily, the abomination we discussed today cannot possibly be real. At least, I hope it can’t; I know it could be a reality in my dreams, and that is more than bad enough. However, I would love to know what your thoughts are on this case and if you think that there’s somehow some truth to it. Let me know in the comments below. And as always, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!


  1. Clearly someone left their Sephora lotion on the moon
    (Turns out the reviews are a hoax, but I wanted to share this anyway.)

    1. Hahaha. I have to admit, I was a bit confused when I saw this comment. I thought it might be another spambot (since they love my blog, for whatever reason). I wish I'd found that post before writing this now, though. That got a good laugh out of me!