When scientists are in the jungle a simple sound can startle them; hearing something moving in the bushes. They might expect a small mammal to emerge. Imagine one researcher’s shock when what came out of those bushes was a spider the size of a puppy. Now imagine it’s you or a friend who witnesses this creature, and you’re afraid of spiders. Arachnophobia sufferers beware.
The Goliath Bird Eating Spider has legs nearly a foot long. Its fangs are about two inches long, and although it’s not venomous, its bite could be severely painful. It has one additional weapon; when it rubs its legs against its body it shoots out spines which are painful and if they fly into your eyes can cause severe itching for several days.
For its overall size, the Goliath Bird Eating Spider is considered the largest spider in the world. It is rarely seen; it inhabits the rainforests of South America.
The spider with the longest leg length is the Giant Huntsman Spider. Its legs are 12 inches long. The first known discovery was in Laos in 2011. It gets its name from the fact that it hunts its prey instead of catching them in webs. Its appearance causes it to be falsely connected to the Brown Recluse. If bitten by the Giant Huntsman, its venom could cause illness, soreness, and swelling for a few days, but it is far less harmful than the Recluse.
What is the most dangerous spider in the world? That would be the Brazilian Wandering Spider. They are brown and have a similarity to the Wolf Spider found in the United States, but their venom is much more powerful. They seek warm and cozy places to sleep. They also attach themselves to fruits and vegetables, giving the shopper an unpleasant surprise. If cornered, they will attack, but the bite will most likely lack the expulsion of venom. The Brazilian Wandering Spider usually deliver a venomous bite only when injured or pressed against something. The large amounts of serotonin in the venom can cause muscle shock.
The second most dangerous spider is the common Black Widow. Before an anti-venom was discovered there were 63 deaths reported between 1950 and 1959. Their favorite haunts are old outhouses and woodpiles.
If you’re in the mood to go ‘spider hunting,’ you are now better informed. If you are like millions of people, Arachnophobia sufferers beware.
By James Turnage