‘Unsanctioned’ giant spider under Canadian bridge is not what it seems, photos show

A gigantic black spider recently appeared under a bridge in Canada, but there’s more to the “unsanctioned” visitor than what meets the eye. The spider has sparked a controversy between locals who want it to stay around and city officials who want it gone.

A Canadian urban artist, who goes by the name Junko Playtime and works with “reclaimed materials,” created the massive spider and installed it under a bridge in Vancouver, according to an Instagram post on March 15.

“Phobia,” the artist posted, “Time to face our fears.”

Seen at a distance, the artwork looks realistic. Seen close up, the sculpture is made of plastic and metal; its long legs appear to be windshield wipers.


Junko installed the sculpture at night, using rope to hang it and give the illusion of the creature crawling along the wall, videos in another Instagram post show.

The spider sculpture up close.
The spider sculpture up close.

The artwork has drawn a mixture of reactions on the artists’ Instagram page. Some expressed both support for the installation and reservations about its subject matter.

“Anybody who spots that is gonna lose their ----,” one person commented. “It’s gonna be great!”

“It looks so real far away,” another person wrote.

“I have a fear of spiders like most people also, but that is an amazing piece of artwork!,” someone else wrote.

The spider sculpture as seen from below.
The spider sculpture as seen from below.

The city of Vancouver had a different reaction to the “unsanctioned spider artwork,” officials told McClatchy News. The artwork was installed on a bridge belonging to the city and near an active rail line, but “the installation of this artwork was not done in consultation with the City of Vancouver or the rail corridor partners.”

Consequently, the city announced its intention to remove the spider, CBC reported on March 24..

In response, Junko urged people to “Help Save Spidey,” according to a March 25 Instagram post.

Two days later, the city of Vancouver told CTV it “has received a high volume of feedback” about the spider “with the majority of it in favour of the arachnid.”

The sculpture appears realistic from far away.
The sculpture appears realistic from far away.

City officials were not dissuaded. “The city has been working with its partners to discuss the best path forward for the removal,” officials told McClatchy News on March 29. The artist will have the opportunity to reclaim the sculpture following the impoundment process.

“The installation of public art on key infrastructure, such as a bridge, would require due process to ensure safety,” city officials said. “The unsanctioned spider artwork has not been through this review process.”

Still, the removal process is “complex” and will take time, CTV reported. Until then, the giant arachnid is still livening up commutes and chilling under the bridge.

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