Oh, Hell No: Scientist Comes Face-To-Face With Puppy Sized Spider In The Rainforest
Convinced I still have some PTSD from what I call “ArachNOPEphobia 2014,” a.k.a. the massive spider infestation in my room this summer, imagine my anxiety to learn that there are puppy-sized spiders in the world. Yes, I said puppy-sized.
A scientist named Piotr Naskrecki was recently taking a nighttime stroll through the Guyana rainforest when he heard a rustling in the brush around him. Expecting to come across some sort of a small mammal, he turned on his light to see what all of my personal nightmares are made of.
“When I turned on the light, I couldn’t quite understand what I was seeing,” he told Live Science. The man was staring into many the eyes of a massive, hairy brown South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), the world’s largest spider. The creature can weigh as much as a young puppy, with its legs spanning up to a foot, or about the size of a child’s forearm. But that’s not even the worst of it. The spider also has prickly hairs and 3/4 inch fangs for self-defense. When Naskrecki approached it, the spider was rubbing its hind legs against it’s abdomen, which sends out a cloud of hairs with microscopic barbs on them. When those hairs get in the eyes or other mucus membranes, they’re “extremely painful and itchy,” which sounds like a walk in the park compared to being bit by the arachnid, which is so painful it’s been likened to “driving a nail through your hand.”
I’m convinced the man ate some bad berries out there or something, because for some reason, he decided to CAPTURE the spider and bring it back to Guyana instead of running away and admitting himself into some sort of institution, like I would have done. Last we heard, the female spider was “deposited” into a museum in Guyana where she “serves the purpose of training and educating conservation biologists, including members of the native indian communities in the country.”
Welp, there goes my dream of visiting a rainforest. I’ll be perfectly content looking at one on my desktop background from here on out. [Live Science]