10 Giant Invertebrates You Don’t Want to Meet

10 Giant Invertebrates You Don’t Want to Meet


In this creepy account of spineless giant
animals, we will tour the planet and discover record holding monster invertebrates, including
the kings and queens of major categories of molluscs, crustaceans, spiders, and centipedes
– including 3-foot hermit crabs, dinner plate-sized spiders, and a crayfish bigger
than a small dog. When the largest animals without backbones
are considered, it is clear that when encountering those of unimagined sizes it is best to simply
stay out of the way… 10. Japanese Spider Crab The largest known arthropod on the planet,
the Japanese Spider Crab Macrocheira kaempferi dwarfs other crustaceans, possessing a science
fiction worthy 12-foot maximum legspan and weighing up to 44 pounds. The animals dwell at depths from 160 feet
to 2,000 feet and use their elongated claw-bearing arms to gather prey. The sharp, powerful claws could injure a human
and are to be avoided. Feeding on a combination of plants and animals,
some Japanese Spider Crab may feed on the dead bodies of a variety of animals on a frequent
basis, while other individuals can be found that concentrate on prying open live shellfish
and eating the contents. While the carapace is massive, it is dwarfed
by the disproportionately long spindly legs of this species. The Japanese Spider Crab does not only go
out on the hunt for prey, it also goes to incredible lengths to disguise itself, earning
the title of “decorator crab” in the process. Seashells, seaweed, sponges, and anemones
may actually be cemented by the crabs to their carapace, disguising the enormous crab to
the point where it resembles a submerged, sealife colonized rock. Ironically, the largest spanning crustaceans
on Earth start life as nearly microscopic larvae that are planktonic in form, drifting
through the ocean before gaining mass and starting on their path to becoming monsters. 9. Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster Black, sleek, and armed with massive claws,
the Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster Astacopsis gouldi is a gigantic crayfish that no one
would want to handle without extreme caution. Looking like a model designed to scare a gullible
audience, the all-too-real monster crustacean is a massive and dreadful looking creature
that can reach lengths of 2.5 feet and a weight of over 11 pounds. The largest crayfish in the world, this Tasmanian
endemic also firmly holds the title of largest freshwater invertebrate on Earth but ironically
inhabits small watercourses. Despite the physical injuries that could result
from a careless encounter with this enormous dark crayfish, the stream dwelling species
faces a greater degree of danger from humans than it could ever pose. Overfishing has resulted in depletion of large
breeding adults, which has combined with habitat destruction from logging impacts to cause
the animals to become listed as endangered. Dependant on cool, clean water, just 100,000
individual freshwater lobsters remain in the wild, leading to vigorous conservation efforts
aimed at curtailing overfishing and limiting logging in sensitive areas to avoid runoff,
siltation and warming due to loss of stabilizing vegetation and shade. Able to live for 30 years, the giant lobsters
now benefit from a ban on fishing since 1998 but depend on habitat protection for continued
survival. 8. Giant Huntsman Spider Discovered by German arachnologist Peter Jäger
on an expedition to Laos in 2001, the Giant Huntsman Spider Heteropoda maxima is a little
known, enormous arachnid with a legspan of up to 1-foot in breadth. Such an enormous legspan makes it the largest
spider on the planet, by physical size. The Giant Huntsman spider has a visually shocking
hairy tiger striped pattern, with bold alternations of black and beige to rusty sections along
its legs and on the abdomen and cephalothorax. Feeding on a wide variety of prey including
cockroaches, the high energy and aggressively tempered Giant Huntsman is so named for chasing
down its prey instead of building a web and lying in wait like a stereotypical spider. With what have been described as crab-like
legs, the Giant Huntsman can run rapidly from side to side as well as forward, combining
incredible agility with eerie looking and highly prominent fangs to capture and subdue
its prey before injury to the spider can occur. Agility enhancing adaptations include twisted
joints and an outwardly spread stance. Interestingly, male Giant Huntsman Spiders
have longer legs than females, but the sex with the larger body size is the female. The somewhat startling discovery of the Giant
Huntsman Spider highlights the fact that new giant invertebrates may be waiting to be discovered
and new finds are not limited to small or harmless invertebrates. 7. Amazonian Centipede Centipedes are scary and sometimes highly
dangerous to humans due to their powerful venom and agility. They can reach unbelievable sizes, and have
the predatory potential that might make even a seasoned arthropod biologist shudder. The grand ruler of centipedes is the enormous
Amazonian Giant Centipede Scolopendra gigantean, a master predator that can take down birds,
mice, spiders, and roosting bats. And by the way, it can grow to a foot long. Due to its size and appearance, this nightmarishly
scaled up centipede looks like a terrible machine from a science fiction film come to
life. Hailing not only from the Amazon but also
inhabiting parts of the Caribbean, the Amazonian Giant Centipede is perhaps at its most impressive
as an accomplished but creepy hunter of bats in caves, where it clambers up walls and hangs
from cave ceilings with its strong multitude of legs and then strikes out at passing bats,
incapacitating them with its powerful venom. Like smaller centipedes, this giant is equipped
with massive, venom releasing fangs that are actually modified front legs called forcipules. The wicked hooks can easily pierce human skin
if the centipede is alarmed, injecting a soup of chemicals including cardiac depressors
and complex amino acids that will bring death to birds, mammals, and even snakes that fall
prey to the giant centipede. In addition to venom, the centipede uses force,
wrapping its legs around victims to quell their struggle and secure a meal. Humans, if bitten by this arthropod, may suffer
chills, agonizing pain, and swelling. 6. Giant African Millipede Millipedes may be thought of as minute, but
the aptly named Giant African Millipede Archispirostreptus gigas ranks first in size among these supposedly
thousand-footed animals. Native to the sub-tropical rainforests of
Western Africa, a specimen of the king or queen of millipedes may reach a foot in length. Favoring warm, moist places, Giant African
Millipedes are known as detritivores, which are herbivores adapted to feed on dead and
decaying plant material over live plants. Massive plates cover the millipede’s body,
which is supple and can be formed into a curled, circular shape, making it much more awkward
for a predator to gather up and prey upon the millipede. If that is not enough, the Giant African Millipede
may draw on chemical warfare to ward off predatory attempts. Not to be confused with the venomous centipedes
that actually inject venom in the course of hunting, millipedes want to mind their own
business but are poisonous, rather than venomous as they do not inject toxins by biting, having
weak jaws, but instead release or contain chemicals that are harmful to contact or ingest. In the case of the African Giant Millipede,
disgusting and potentially irritating hydrogen cyanide gas can be released if the millipede
is disturbed by a predator or even a curious human. The Giant African Millipede is a nocturnal
animal, avoiding exposure to daytime predators as it patrols the forest floor for decaying
food under the cover of darkness. Millipedes are extremely unusual animals in
a variety of respects, yet another of quirk being their strange mode of respiration. To breath, millipedes collect air through
holes in their body known as spiracle. Thus, millipedes are placed at risk of drowning
if excessively soaked. 5. Colossal Squid It is not the giant squid of popular imagination
that is the most massive on the planet. It gets better, or for those with a phobia
of squid, worse. The Colossal Squid Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni,
made known through examination of specimens collected in Antarctic waters, is the largest
invertebrate on the planet. The potential length of this species is estimated
at 46 feet. The eyes alone, the largest eyes of any life
form on the planet, may exceed 12 inches in diameter, while movable hooked claws and a
massive beak allow this giant to inflict injuries visible on the skin of sperm whales that are
understood to prey upon the squid, but not without retribution from the enormous molluscs. Colossal Squid have attracted significant
interest from researchers through the discovery of remains and occasional live specimen collections. Notable is the ability of this species to
weigh in at over 1100 pounds, with females reaching a greater potential size than males. An ambush predator that reaches its enormous
size through a biological phenomenon called abyssal gigantism, the Colossal Squid is equipped
not only with a razor sharp, massive cutting beak but has sharp, flesh-tearing hooks that
include those that can swivel, inflicting damage on predators or prey at strategic angles. 4. Australian Trumpet Known mostly as 1 to 2-inch garden pests or
on occasion, as a French delicacy, snails are considered small by most people. We aim to change that perception by bringing
the world’s largest snail to popular attention. An ocean-going monster, the world’s largest
living snail represents biological reality far beyond anyone’s typical imagination. Native to Northern Australian waters and the
coasts of nearby regions including Papua New Guinea, the Australian Trumpet Syrinx aruanus
is a gigantic species of predatory whelk little known to ecologists but famous in the shell
collecting community. This species may have a shell length of no
less than 3 feet, with a potential weight of up to 40 pounds. Specially adapted to feed on huge marine worms,
the Trumpet Snail is an adept but still mysterious predator that clearly deserves more scientific
investigative attention. With their ecology little known, further investigation
into their life history and conservation status would be wise. As a direct development species, eggs from
egg cases deposited by females hatch into fully formed miniature snails which spread
out into their habitat from the site in contrast to species that are distributed as plankton
and thus better able to recolonize depleted sites. Occurring from the intertidal shallows down
to depths of 164 feet, the snails have a round mid section combined with a narrow rear, giving
a trumpet-like appearance. 3. Coconut Crab While the title for largest crab goes to the
Japanese Spider Crab, a highly aberrant species of land-dwelling hermit crab holds the record
for largest land-dwelling arthropod. Described as monstrous by Charles Darwin,
the Coconut Crab Birgus latro is the only arboreal hermit crab family member on the
planet, setting another crustacean record through its conquest of trees as it climbs
to escape any threats. Reaching up to 3 feet in length, the huge
creatures patrol islands in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean not only for fallen
coconuts, broken open with their enormous, potentially dangerous claws, but may also
feed on other crab species and food left out by humans. Coconuts are not only eaten by coconut crabs
but are also used as burrow building material. Coconut Crabs retire to burrows lined with
coconut fiber, taken from the hairy husks of the coconut. Unlike typical hermit crabs, the Coconut Crab
does not wear a discarded gastropod shell except as a small juvenile, but develops a
hard and damage resistant exoskeleton with age. If the Coconut Crab falls while climbing,
it can land without damage and walk away from the impact site. Classed as data deficient by the International
Union for Conservation of Nature, the Coconut Crab has sadly been extirpated in areas of
intense human settlement including Australia and Madagascar. While additional threats have come from introduced
predators such as rats, Coconut Crabs have been known to capture and eat rats on occasion. Despite their huge size and terrestrial lifestyle,
the young start out as barely visible planktonic larvae that arrive on land once sufficiently
developed. 2. Giant Forest Scorpion Scorpions of any size may inspire fear in
humans, but the largest of scorpions have to be seen to be believed and could lead to
a massive demand for steel-toed boots among jungle explorers. Measuring up to 9-inches-long, the Giant Forest
Scorpion Heterometrus swammerdami of India and Sri Lanka is the most massive scorpion
species on the planet. Weighing up to 2 ounces, the massive creatures
possess less venom than many other scorpions, relying more on their crushing power contained
within lobster-like claws to dispatch prey. Black in color, the gigantic scorpion has
a disproportionately massive pair of claws that dwarf the midsection of the body, while
the venom-bearing stinger is set on a tail of equally disproportionate thickness. The venom may not be as concentrated as that
of smaller and weaker scorpions due to the beastly arthropod’s ability to rely on its
brute strength to defend itself and bring down prey in a variety of circumstances. However, the animals have a copious amount
of venom thanks to their sheer size that will be injected without very much hesitation if
provoked. With their magnificent appearance, these largest
of scorpions are sought after by arthropod hobbyists as exotic specimens or pets, to
be kept with ample caution. 1. Giant Isopod Many of us have not heard of an isopod but
the largest species, the Giant Isopod Bathynomus giganteus, is not a creature you will easily
forget (because it’ll haunt your nightmares). A relative of familiar garden variety pillbugs,
the Giant Isopod is an exceedingly creepy looking crustacean with prehistoric-looking
armor plating to protect it from predators. An accomplished scavenger, feeding on items
ranging from dead fish to sunken whale carcasses, Giant Isopods are able to scavenge or tear
apart a wide variety of prey items with its powerful jaws that act like a multi-tool to
process food. As they may even attack trapped fish being
brought up by trawlers, isopods can be classed as true opportunists as well as scavengers. There can be little doubt that Giant Isopods
might also go after human remains, given the chance, and one would not want to put one’s
fingers in the way of the creature’s powerful, carcass disposal ready jaws. Distributed widely across the world’s oceans,
Giant Isopods may reach just over 14 inches in length, owing their enormous size to deep
sea gigantism. The aberrant crustaceans are primarily solitary
creatures, living at depths ranging from 550 to 7,020 feet, with bizarre exoskeleton shielded
eyes that are fixed in place and look uncannily machine-like. Yet more eerily, the eyes contain a reflective
layer in the back called a tapetum that makes the eyes glow when viewed. While a useful adaptation, the trait seals
the Giant Isopod’s identity as a real-life B movie sea monster.

100 thoughts on “10 Giant Invertebrates You Don’t Want to Meet

  1. Call me an arrogant American, but I love how you use imperial measurement. You must know that we love you too, and that we are your likely biggest audience. I'm a bit Patriotic maybe. Excellent video.

  2. Hey, just a few things. The scorpion you are talking about is Heterometrus.swammerdami. the term you used "forest scorpion" is more of a general classification of the entire heterometrus genus, not just one specie. And one last thing, most of the pictures used of scorpions were either Heterometrus.spinifer, and Heterometrus.petersii. Still a great video, just figured id add some info since ive worked extensivelly with tge Heterometrus genus 🙂

  3. hydrogen cyanide is only reported in polydesmid millipedes. the giant african millipede (archispirostreptus gigas) is not a polydesmid

  4. "Abysall gigantism" 👈bruh. Science comes up with the best names for things. That's like a metal band, but better.

  5. Hey Simon, when I was a kid Southern California my brothers and I encountered centipedes longer than a foot rather commonly. Not as thick as the Amazonian, and we usually found them under rocks. I think the species is tiger centipede. Anyway love your videos man.

  6. Me: Jumping 3ft. in the air whilst watching this because I felt something on my leg.
    Me: Watching the rest with my feet on the chair.

  7. Not only does Australia have the hottest women in the world they have the ugliest creatures also!!!!

  8. Just a fact for everyone. The average lobster/New England lobster, before humankind started fishing them grew to six feet or more in length.

  9. Why do you use imperial measurements, rather than metric? Is your audience predominately in the U.S?

  10. A mate of mine was trekking around Australia and hiked up to a shelter in the jungle, (a raised platform with a roof, built out of ten inch timbers, very sturdy)
    There was a Huntsman on the beam where hippy(my buddy) wanted to tie his hammock up, He thinks He'll shoo it away, It reared up and lunged at him, He shat his loon pants and tied his hammock on the other side under the leaky bit of roof. He took a picture, it was f**king Huge, although I teased him, I wouldn't want to mess with it without a club. ☺

  11. 10. Japanese Spider Crab leg span of 12ft = 3.66m, weighs 44lbs = 20kg

    9. Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster 2.5 ft = 76.2 cm long, weighs 11lbs = 5kg

    8. Giant Huntsman Spider 1ft = 30.5cm leg span

    7. Amazonian Centipede 1ft = 30.5cm long

    6. Giant African Millipede 1ft = 30.5cm long

    5. Colossal Squid 46ft = 14m long with eyes 12 inch = 30.5cm in diameter, weighs 1100lbs = 499kg

    4. Australian Trumpet 3ft = 91.4cm shell, weighs 40lbs = 18.1kg

    3. Coconut Crab 3ft = 91.4cm long

    2. Giant Forest Scorpion 9 inches = 22.9cm long, weighs 2 oz = 56.7 grams

    1. Giant Isopod 14 inches = 35.6cm long

  12. Humans have apparently overcome any fear of the coconut crab. Overseas they catch and cook them into stew and also make vegetable paste using the inner guts of the same coconut crab. So it's safe to say, we can take the coconut crab off the not to be messed with' list.

  13. The Top Ten youtube channels you don't ever want to click on a link from:

    1) anything even slightly SJW as of 1980's standards
    2) anything with simon whistler, aka the king of youtube trash generation

  14. Huntsman spiders….a reason to cut down all the trees in the yard, bury the yards in cement, and rig the house to explode…

  15. The bigger the scorpion the less potent the venom is it's the little guys you gotta look out for the smaller they are the more potent, doesn't mean the big one's won't kill you it just means you have a better chance at survive lol.

  16. This guy is a idiot. I’m finding out his videos are so half assed.
    The giant centipede is dangerous to humans bc of their agility? Tf
    Shows a dead whale on a beach when talking about the colossal squid ??

  17. Just think bugs like centipedes and millipedes use to be huge. And if the oxygen on earth gets better these insects will get large again.

  18. I'm not a fan of bugs in general and I know that if I crossed paths with any of these creatures, I'd have a freaking heart attack.

  19. I’m from the mountains in Virginia and we have millipedes that big here. I’ve seen a few over a foot long.

  20. Alright y’all anything with (pede) at the end of its name has got to go…. any and all means allowed. Also spiders and the squids…. if this guys talked bout it then it’s fair game! Ahhhhhh

  21. Might be weird, but has anyone seen if #1 tastes like crab or lobster and would it be easier to farm them then the other two?

  22. Fun fact: a quick rule of thumb with scorpions is you can make a quick determination about the danger of a scorpion's venom based on the size of the class. Big claws, weak poison. Small claws, potent poison.

  23. Okay guy, spider crab legs are not 12ft long they are 4 feet max. Literally just google it wtf? Ill see myself out this video is a joke.😂

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