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The J'ba Fofi (Baka: giant spider), also known as the Congolese Giant Spider is a giant spider that allegedly lives in the densely forested areas of Congo, Uganda and Central Africa.


Description

The J'ba Fofi is described as having a brownish body similar to that of a tarantula, with a legspan of four to six feet. Juvenile versions possess yellow coloring that turns brown as they grow older.


Behavior

The J'ba Fofi is described by Baka natives as weaving lairs made of leaves and spinning a circular web between two trees. The animals are said to prey upon birds, monkeys, and other small game animals. However, there are no recent records of attacks on humans. The Baka told Gibbons that these spiders are now rare due to the extension of fields and the dwindling of their habitat.


Sightings

Records of this monster have been documented in African Folklore for centuries, however further studies have unearthed encounters with westerners and, according to one, this creature has also been spotted in the United States of America and Papua New Guinea.

1938: Congo

Reginald and Margurite Lloyd were driving a Ford truck through a trail when they spotted a spider resembling a tarantula crossing the path ahead of them. The creature's legspan was estimated at 3 feet. Their daughter Miss Maurgurite Lloyd would later relate this story to in the 1990s to William Gibbons.

1942: Papua, New Guinea

An Australian soldier at the Kokoda Trail said that he encountered a puppy-sized spider inhabiting a 10 to 15 foot sized web. It was described with having a bulk body, was black, and hairy like a tarantula.

1948: Leesville, Louisiana, United States

William Slaydon and his grandchildren were walking north on Highway 171 to church when he motioned them to stop. After hearing a rustling in the bushes ahead a spider described as being the size of a washtub emerged and crossed the road. One of the grandchildren would later tell this story to his own son, Todd Partain, director of the documentary film Eyes In The Dark: The Sasquatch Experience.

1969: Black Hills, Dakotas, United States

A woman related a similar story of a giant spider crossing a remote road. It is described as being as least as wide as one lane of the road.

1970: Cambodia

A Green Beret says that while on a mission he heard a rustling in the foliage ahead of him. Thinking it was a Viet Cong soldier he got into a firing position and put on night vision goggles. A spider "as big as a small 4 wheel ATV" was visible about ten feet from him. It soon vanished into the forest.

2001: Cameroon

Timbo, chief of the Baka tribe in Cameroon tells Williams Gibbons that in November 2000 a J'ba Fofi had built a nest near their village.


References

  • Gibbons, William J., Mokele-Membe: Mystery Beast of the Congo Basin; Coachwhip Publications, 2010
  • Eberhart, Goerge, Mysterious creatures: a guide to cryptozoology, Volume 1; ABC CLIO, pp 204
  • Arment, Chad, CZ Conversations: Giant Spiders, BioFortean Review 3, no 2; pp. 28-29
  • Shuker, K, Extraordinary Animals Revisted; CFZ Press, pp. 231-236