Like the great white shark and the reticulated python, the Goliath Birdeater Spider holds the record for being the largest predator of its species. The stuff of nightmares, its hairy legs can span nearly 12 inches – long enough to cover a standard piece of copier paper.
If you’d like to avoid these jumbo-sized arachnids, don’t trek through the rainforests and swamps in northern South America – especially at night. Like all things creepy, these hairy critters live in burrows below ground and come out at night, when it hunts. Despite its name, the goliath birdeater typically makes meals out of insects and small creatures, including mice, lizards and frogs.
These intimidating invertebrates (they aren’t technically bugs) also sport a set of frightening fangs measuring up to an inch and a half long. Yet despite its size and scary looks, their venom is not lethal, but come with a bunch of unpleasant side effects, including sweating, pain and nausea.
If their size and fangs we’re enough, the goliath spider has yet another weapon to surprise the enemy. It can shoot tiny hairs into the air that can be extremely irritating to skin.
We won’t be cuddling up to any goliath spiders soon.