Let’s face it, spiders are pretty freaky-looking creatures.
They have too many legs, too much hair, creepy fangs and they can shoot webs out of their butts.
But the South American Goliath birdeater (real name!), is in a league of its own. It weighs roughly as much as a puppy, has a footlong legspan, two-inch fangs and, because it’s so large, you can actually hear when they’re moving.
Arachnophobes, where is your god now? http://t.co/dAxhlbHBDx
— Andrew Newman (@red_right_arm) October 20, 2014
It’s also the largest known spider in the world.
Contrary to its name, however, the Goliath birdeater rarely consumes birds. They like earthworms better, and have no problem finding them on the forest floors of South America. But the real question is, are they harmful to humans?
Well, yes. US-based entomologist Piotr Naskrecki recently had a run-in with one of these things, and uploaded some photos on a blog that details the experience. He says the spider reacts in one of three ways when threatened:
“First, the spider would start rubbing its hind legs against the hairy abdomen. ‘Oh, how cute!’, I thought when I first saw this adorable behavior, until a cloud of urticating hair hit my eyeballs, and made me itch and cry for several days.”
Oh, okay. It’s just FLYING NEEDLE HAIRS THAT GET STUCK IN YOUR EYEBALLS. But it gets worse:
“If that wasn’t enough, the arachnid would rear its front legs and open its enormous fangs, capable of puncturing a mouse’s skull, and tried to jab me with the pointy implements.”
Mouse skulls? Pointy implements?? Is this still a spider we’re talking about?
While Naskrecki notes that the spiders aren’t “deadly” to humans, he did warn of the “massive puncture wounds” they could possibly leave you with. Oh, not to mention the loud hissing sound they make before an attack. That’s a small comfort, right? Right?!
Sleep tight tonight!