Meet the largest spider in the world

She's the same size as a puppy. And just as cute?

Meet the largest spider in the world

When entomologist Piotr Naskrecki was traveling through the South American rainforest, he was 'lucky' enough to come across a very rare animal species.

On his blog, he describes how it happened:

"I heard the rustle of an animal running. I could clearly hear its hard feet hitting the ground and dry leaves crumbling under its weight."

"I pressed the switch and pointed the light at the source of the sound, expecting to see a small mammal, a possum, a rat maybe. And at first this is what I thought I saw a big, hairy animal, the size of a rodent."

As it turned out, it wasn't a rodent. It was a GIANT SPIDER.

To be more specific, it was the Goliath birdeater - the largest spider in the world and very rarely seen.

So instead of turning tail and running the other direction, Piotr decided to take some snaps.

As well as making a distinctive clicking sound with their feet, the spiders also 'hiss' when the microscopic hooked hairs on their legs scrape against each other.

Charming.

As a defense mechanism, these spiders can deploy a cloud of hairs to irritate an attacker - Piotr was on the receiving end of this and said his eyes itched for days. Their venom is not lethal to humans - so that's a relief - but as he points out their fangs are capable of puncturing a mouse's skull - so they're definitely to be avoided.

But we imagine you guessed that already.

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