Suffer from arachnophobia? I would remove Guyana off your bucket list of places to see before you die.
Piotr Naskrecki was strolling around a rainforest in Guyana when he heard something rustling near his foot. Piotr writes in a recent blog post he thought it was a possum or some other small rodent. Nope. It was a spider. Specifically, the South American Goliath birdeater. Birdeater? Yup, kill it with fire.
The South American Goliath birdeater is the largest spider in the world. Here’s Piotr describing it in his blog post.
“Goliath birdeaters are ridiculously huge for a land arthropod. Their leg span approaches 30 cm (nearly a foot) and they weigh up to 170 g – about as much as a young puppy,” Piotr writes.
How does it get so big? Pitor writes it’s all about the spider’s metabolic rate, which is slower than its relatives.
Piotr does have some disappointing news. The spider rarely eats birds as it rustles around the forest floor at night. They are capable though.
That spider looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. It also reminds me of the spider-dog prank on YouTube.
Piotr describes his encounter with the monstrosity, and it doesn’t sound like it went to well.
Every time I got too close to the birdeater it would do three things. 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. 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. The venom of a birdeater is not deadly to humans but, in combination with massive puncture wounds the fangs were capable of inflicting, it was definitely something to be avoided. And then there was a loud hissing sound.
So, there you have it. Not only do you have to worry about snakes and everything else a rainforest brings, now there are spiders the size of puppies roaming around.
Image credits: Piotr Naskrecki