Stuff of Nightmares: Scientist Finds Spider the Size of a Puppy

Stuff of Nightmares: Scientist Finds Spider the Size of a Puppy

 

Stuff of Nightmares Scientist Finds Spider the Size of a Puppy

 

Spiders in the Philippines are harmless. Yes, there are many people who are scared of them, but Filipino spiders (is there such a thing?) are generally on the smaller side. But what if you see a spider bigger than your face? That’s what happened to scientist Piotr Naskrecki, who was walking in a rainforest in Guyana. Out of nowhere, he heard the rustling of leaves, and he switched on his flashlight, expecting to see a rat. What he saw was the stuff of nightmares: a very large spider.

 

Stuff of Nightmares Scientist Finds Spider the Size of a Puppy 3

Imagine running into this while walking alone at night

 

When the entomologist and photographer at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology saw the spider, it rubbed its hind legs against its abdomen. Naskrecki thought it was “cute,” until he realized it was emitting a cloud of hair with microscopic barbs. It is the spider’s defense mechanism, and is painful and itchy when it gets into the eyes.

The spider is known as the South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), which has been christened as the world’s largest spider, according to the Guinness World Records. Its body can grow to the size of a large fist, and its leg span can reach up to a foot. The Goliath birdeater can also weight up to 6 oz, roughly the size of a young puppy. Because of its size, it makes a distinct clicking sound, similar to horse’s hooves.

 

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The Goliath birdeating spider is as large as a small puppy

 

Apart from its cloud of hair, the spider also protects itself using its two inch long fangs, and hair across its body that have hooks and barbs. A bite from this spider is venomous but not deadly. However, expect it to hurt really, really bad. According to Naskrecki, “They will essentially attack anything that they encounter.”

The spider’s main prey is earthworms. Contrary to its name, it does not eat birds. But given the chance, it can kill a bird and its chicks, and even drink their eggs.

Thankfully, the Goliath birdeater is not a common spider. Naskrecki has only encountered the species three times in the 10-15 years he has been in South America. It’s a good thing spiders in the Philippines aren’t so big. If you see one… run.

What do you think of this story? Does it give you goosebumps? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Stuff of Nightmares: Scientist Finds Spider the Size of a Puppy






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