A golden silk orb spider
A golden silk orb spider Wikimedia Commons

In what can only be described as a truly incredible video, a golden orb spider was caught feasting on a tree snake it snared in its web, in the backyard of a resident of Freshwater City in Australia.

The video has gone viral since it hit the Internet, evoking, no doubt, a mixture of emotions from (probably) disgust to wonder and from a fascination with the primeval side of life to an equally strong, if morbid, fascination with violence and death in the animal kingdom.

The footage was first posted by kite surfer Ant Hadleigh, who filed it online on the Web site of The Cairns Post, last week.

One of the principal actors in the drama - the brown tree snake (estimated at around half-a-metre in length) is seen struggling to survive for more than an hour, while the spider's venom slowly coursed through its sinuous body, killing it. Apparently, in a twist of poetic justice of sorts, some spiders are known to inject their prey with a paralysing toxin before killing and consuming them... not unlike a snake.

"A few times the snake managed to get up and attack the spider, and the spider would run back up the web," Hadleigh was quoted as saying by The Cairns Post.

"You could see the spider just chewing into it and the part which the spider was eating had gone all black and the insides were bubbling," he said, adding, "It was pretty crazy."

The golden orb spiders are noted for excellent weaving skills and the shining yellow webs they weave in zigzag patterns. These Australian golden silk orb-weavers are known to have eaten prey as big as birds and snakes.

Meanwhile, Daniel Reardon posted a similar video on YouTube on 19 April that shows another golden orb spider trying to devour a snake in Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

"The snake fell into the web, which is why the thick yellow web is around the snake. The spider immediately attacked the snake," Reardon said, describing his video.

Watch Both Videos Below: