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There’s Finally A ‘Shazam’ For Snakes And Spiders So You Know Exactly How Scared To Be

There’s Finally A ‘Shazam’ For Snakes And Spiders So You Know Exactly How Scared To Be

As much as I tell my overseas buddies to calm down, Australia is a tad wild. Literally just last weekend on a casual coastal hike I got head-butted (yes, I said head-butted) by a snake that could have killed me within half an hour had its fangs actually landed.

Still, not EVERYTHING that looks weird is harmful Down Unda, and most things that are harmful don’t actually want to hurt you unless you get in their way.

Still, one of the creepy crawlies we have that I simply cannot abide by are the ridiculous number of spiders. Beyond a Daddy-Long Legs, Hunstman and Red Back, I have no idea how to identify spiders other than ‘hell no’.

Same goes for any snakes that aren’t Red Bellies, except for some reason I’ve come to assume that unknown snakes are probably just chill. Honestly I didn’t even look up what snake had a go at me until the next day so frankly it’s a bloody good thing I didn’t actually get a bite.

It’s a pretty common problem, even for the Aussiest of Aussies, I reckon. I think this tweet really sums up the situation:

To save you from moving house every time you have a spider plague (which, let’s be honest, would be every other week), enter Criterpedia.

Nic and Murray Scarce, along with the CSIRO and Data61, are responding to the buttload of questions the CSIRO receive about what type of snake or spider someone saw. They’re doing this by developing a “tool that uses machine learning and citizen science to take the guesswork out of animal spotting”.

According to CSIRO, Nic and Murray have long been aware of the need for this kind of app.

“During one of her trips to Australia, my mother-in-law acted as a magnet for all of the country’s big-name insects. The questions relating to their identification and danger levels were relentless. And, the fact that we didn’t have all the answers simply exacerbated the situation.”

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We’ve all done the frantic google search to try and identify a spider (or a certain snake that was rude enough to hide itself directly in my path), and the results are often so far from conclusive.


So Criterpedia allows you to snap a quick photo of your assailant with your phone. Then an AI system classifies it for you by considering your images along with other info like your GPS location.

So basically you’ll know exactly how much to shit your pants. There isn’t a release date yet, but you can head to the website to sign up for early access. Or you can sign up here to be a phase 1 tester of the beta version.

I guess until then just keep assuming that the bug/snake/spider is there to kill you?

(Lead Image: Pexels / Pixabay)

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