A Bendigo mother who raised 200 babies in a letterbox has become an internet sensation.
The huntsman spider – dubbed ‘Hortense’ – took the world by storm yesterday after the Bendigo Advertiser told the story of Natasha Joyce, who took her role as spider midwife so far she built a nursery.
“It’s gone insane,” Ms Joyce said.
“Once it hit The Age, I just sat back and watched the YouTube hits tick over.
“It’s over 34,000 now.”
The La Trobe University student and self-described “science geek” said she had been inundated by requests for interviews and had her story told (with varying degrees of accuracy) by the likes of The Sun and The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom.
“But the funniest was when realised it was on a North Korean news site,” she said.
“I was like, ‘wait, what, North Korea … what even, how even is that?’”
“We were crying with laughter.”
Ms Joyce has now licensed her video which will now enter an illustrious pantheon.
“Here's something I never thought I'd hear myself say – ‘I’ve now signed a licensing agreement with the same company which had the video of a polar bear patting a puppy on the head and a shark escaping from a cage,” she said.
Ms Joyce said 50 per cent of the money she raised from the video would be donated to the Discovery Science and Technology Centre.
There where other winners from Hortense’s big day – with Ms Joyce’s nephew Liam getting his mug on the front page of the Addy on his birthday.
And the real star of the viral video?
“Hortense is taking it all in her eight-legged stride,” Ms Joyce said.
“Right now, she’s more focused on changing nappies for 200 babies.”
Ms Joyce said the babies would soon fly the nest and Hortense would either move on – “or die more likely, like what happened to Charlotte”.
While Ms Joyce herself is now focused on a problem to which all new parents can relate.
“We’ve got to come up with 200 names starting with the letter H,” she said.
“My top two so far are Hamish and Hermione …
“But of course, it is likely only two will survive anyway.”