The Real Stories Behind The World’s Largest Spiders

The Real Stories Behind The World’s Largest Spiders


On any given day, you could accidentally stumble
into any one of almost 50,000 species of spider. And while most of them are tiny little creeps
who won’t do much more than give you a slight scare and a face full of web, there are a
few spiders so big and buff that they’ll probably ruin your whole week. Here are the top ten largest spiders in the
world today. Not all spiders are created equal, even within
the Golden Silk Orb Weaver family. Our horrifying tale of web-spinning weirdos
begins with the Nephila komaci. Females of this species have a leg span of
up to 5 inches, or roughly the diameter of a chocolate chip cookie that you’d never,
ever want to touch again. The first live, supersized Golden Silk Orb
Weaver wasn’t officially discovered until 2007, despite unidentified specimens showing
up in museum collections since the year 2000. In addition to being among the top ten biggest
spiders alive today, it’s also one of the rarest spiders in the world, and might already
be critically endangered. Only three live specimens have ever been found
in a single forest in Tembe Elephant Park in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and those
spiders were found in’ 3-foot-wide webs. Rest easy, though — this is the largest
known spider that actually spins a web. The rest just conspire under your bed with
the monsters, waiting for you. Why the name komaci? The spider was named after the dear, departed
best friend of the arachnologist who found the spider. So if you ever want something terrifying to
be named after you, go make friends with a spider scientist. If you like your spiders rare, another critically
endangered species is the Desertas wolf spider, discovered in 1857, which lives on the volcanic
Deserta Grande Island in Portugal’s Madeira archipelago. It has a leg span of 5 inches… or about
the size of a personal chicken pot pie. Its latin name, Hogna ingens, literally means
‘monstrous’… and they only get bigger from here. It’s estimated that there are probably around
4,000 Desertas wolf spiders left in the wild, with at least a thousand being bred in captivity
at the Bristol Zoo to bring their numbers back up, because there are people out there
who actually want more spiders around. And while the spider is big enough to capture
and devour small lizards, and afflict humans with a venomous bite, the species is most
threatened by a seemingly innocuous enemy : invasive bulbous canary grass, which is
destroying the balance of its small environment. One surprising thing about these super-giant
spiders is that many were uncategorized by science before the turn of the century. Even today, there could be an undiscovered
species of spider the size of an LP in right your backyard, and science doesn’t even know. Which brings us to the case of the Cerbalus
aravensis, an enormous spider with a 5.5-inch leg span, or roughly the diameter of a corn
tortilla. Cerbalus aravensis was first observed in 2007
on the Israel-Jordan border, making it the second worst thing to make headlines that
year. “Okay, that one hurt.” Because of its rarity and very small range,
not too much is known about the spider; it’s nocturnal, lives underground at the edges
of salt marshes, and preys on insects and lizards using a devious trapdoor into its
den. It’s also most active during the summer. Its one and only habitat is also being destroyed
by mining projects, so look out: Cerbalus aravensis might be looking to relocate. The giant camel spider may be an arachnid,
but it’s not a true spider. Still, it’s horrifying enough to appear in
this list, and they look like spiders, they behave like spiders, and they use digestive
fluids to liquefy the flesh of whatever or whoever they want to eat, so at this point,
who cares if they’re technically a spider or not? Despite the name and many myths that surround
them, camel spiders do not leap into the air and disembowcel camels for food. They actually eat bugs and rodents, so they’re
excellent pest control. They don’t run at 25 miles an hour, but they
can reach 10 miles per hour, which unfortunately is almost as fast as the average human runner. They won’t chase you, but they are known to
chase your shadow in order to stay cool. They do not scream, but they can squeak, and
they’re not venomous. They do pack a powerful defensive bite, and
their 6-inch leg-span is scary to look at regardless. Unless you’re in the Middle East, you don’t
have much to worry about when it comes to giant camel spiders. But you might want to worry about the seven
even larger spiders on this list. “Watch out, it’s on your arm!” “It’s very fast!” In spite of the many myths surrounding spiders,
that story about the UK family who found a giant spider in their bananas was not just
an urban legend. What the family found was a Brazilian wandering
spider, not only one of the world’s largest spiders, but also one of the most venomous,
capable of delivering a painful bite that can paralyze small prey. Most of these spiders don’t inject enough
venom into humans to require treatment, but look out: its genus name, Phoneutria, means
“murderess” in Greek. As of 2008, there were only ten recorded deaths
in Brazil attributed to this spider. Bite symptoms include a burning sensation,
vertigo, convulsions, and in some cases, a specific reaction in males… … thanks to a nitric oxide boost in the
blood. The Brazilian wandering spider has a 6-inch
leg span, or just smaller than the average adult human hand, not that you’d want to make
the comparison close-up. Add the fact that they’re nocturnal and actively
hunt prey, unlike their lazy web-spinning counterparts, and you have a potentially scary
spider. If you’ve ever dreamed of keeping a gigantic,
hairy spider as a pet, you can pick up a Colombian giant redleg online and have it shipped overnight
to your home, with a guaranteed live arrival, though the species would probably feel more
at home in its native tropical rain forests of Colombia and Brazil. The Colombian giant redleg will eat almost
anything smaller than itself, and that includes mice. It also has a unique way of defending itself
against any mice who think they might stand a chance : the cartwheel of death, a little
confusing dance that flings irritating barbed hairs at its victims. Which, believe it or not, isn’t even the most
irritating kind of Spider-dance. It has a leg span of up to 8 inches, which
is roughly the size of your face. Fortunately, they’re known to be pretty skittish,
so they’d much rather just stay out of your way. Another species unknown to science until recently
is the Poecilotheria rajaei, which wasn’t identified until locals in Sri Lanka gave
a dead sample to a scientist in 2009. These spiders are known to hide in and under
things: wood piles, rocks, and during monsoon season when they find their way indoors, your
bed. Poecilotheria rajaei has a leg span of around
8 inches, which is about the size of a really terrible birthday cake. A bite from these spiders probably won’t be
deadly, but it can cause severe muscle cramps, local swelling, and of course, varying degrees
of agony. Scientists say that this spider prefers to
live in old-growth trees, but deforestation is driving them into buildings instead, so
if there was ever an argument to leave nature alone, this is it. In fact, many of the first specimens were
discovered living in a Sri Lankan hospital, which must have been very comforting. Let’s be clear about this one: the Hercules
baboon spider might not even exist anymore, so if there are any, it’s probably the rarest
spider in the world. No one has actually seen a genuine Hercules
baboon spider since 1900, and only one specimen was ever collected. And while pet stores often claim to be selling
“Hercules baboon spiders,” don’t believe them; it’s probably the species’ smaller, no-less-ridiculously-named
cousin, the king baboon spider. Like the last few spiders, the Hercules baboon
spider has an 8-inch leg span, but not much else can be gleaned from that one specimen
found more than 100 years ago. While the Hercules baboon spider might be
extinct, it’ll be a while before anyone knows for sure, since it’s native to Nigeria and
its territory is politically unstable, making spider-hunting extremely difficult. Any spider called a “birdeater” is already
sufficiently terrifying, but the Brazilian salmon pink birdeater isn’t even the biggest
spider in the world. It’s up there, however, with a 10-inch leg
span that makes it about the same size as one of those giant burgers you get to have
for free if you can eat the whole thing without vomiting. And there’s also no evidence that they actually
eat birds on a regular basis, instead focusing on frogs, lizards, mice, snakes, and anything
smaller than itself. The ‘salmon pink’ name is because, like so
many Hot Topic employees, they’re covered with pink hair. If you’re dying to see a spider the size of
a medically dangerous amount of meat to consume, you’re in luck; you can find them at many
zoos and pet shops. Or you can just visit one of your weird friends
who keeps spiders in their homes on purpose; they make good pets, live up to 12 years and
lay up to 2000 eggs at once, in case you want to start your own tarantula farm or haunted
house. In case the salmon pink birdeater wasn’t quite
big enough for you, another option is the Goliath birdeater, which is not the largest
spider by its 11-inch leg span, but is thought to be the largest spider by weight: up to
6 ounces, or the weight of a decent filet mignon. Coincidentally, it may also BE one of the
world’s most delicious spiders; the indigenous people of South America are known to roast
Goliath birdeaters in banana leaves, and the resulting meal is described as tasting like
prawns. When the meal is done, diners reportedly use
the spider’s almost-inch-long fangs as toothpicks. Not many animals come with their own dental
hygiene tools. And now we come to the largest spider of all,
the Giant Huntsman, found in Laos. With a foot-wide legspan, it was first discovered
in a cave in 2001, making it another newcomer to the world of giant spiders, and quite possibly
not even the biggest spider left to find in this big, itchy world. More or less the size of a dinner plate you’d
never use again, giant huntsman spiders are mostly leg, but they’re especially frightening
because of how they catch their prey. Like many larger spiders, the huntsman doesn’t
build a web, but actively hunts it prey, and they’re especially good at fitting into tight
spots due to their flat body shape. While thousands of species live throughout
the world, the biggest ones generally live in warmer climates. Moving to Antarctica never looked so good. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about some of
the weirdest stuff in the world are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

90 thoughts on “The Real Stories Behind The World’s Largest Spiders

  1. Why am I watching this?! Nearly 4 years in this house & only small spiders. Yesterday, 2 big hairy f$%kers in one day. One above my bed, that disappeared when I reached for a cup to catch him in. Then I get chased by another big bastard in the kitchen last night. I'm getting the matches now…

  2. Most spiders are actually harmless. And with some cases where people died from spider bites, studies have been conducted which proved that it was something else entirely.

  3. Count me as one of those weird friends! I have 16 baby tarantulas. I treat them like fish. Awesome to watch and care for, but they don't really get any enjoyment from our interactions with them.

  4. In the thumbnail I totally see a man's head on that spider! He has tan skin, white hair & beard… Also looks a little like a guy in a football helmet.

  5. Why does he keep comparing them to food? What is he trying to tell us? Also, I HAVE been chased by a camel spider before.. in Colorado- my guess is it came home from the middle east with the solder who lived across the street

  6. ARACHNOPHOBIA ‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳

  7. My interest drifts every time that guy pops on the screen, it's like using the same clip a 100 times, why must narrators always get to this 'look at me' part of their YouTube careers?

  8. Your info is so off i dont know where to begin just please dont ever make another because your an idiot. P.S. im the wierd friend

  9. I'm not actually scared of spiders..
    But if one jump on me, I will definitely be running and screaming..😰😁
    Thanks for the awesome content..💖

  10. I like how they keep showing a Fishing Spider as one of their graphics. Also a large Midwestern spider with up to a 4 1/2 inch legspan.

  11. The salmon pink, the Goliath bird eater, and the huntsman, are all relatively harmless. They say the golden orb Weaver is also. But, they care the same nerotoxin ask black widows. And, are found a lot in Australia. Same with the huntsman. Yes I love spiders. No idc what anyone thinks. And, some spider species like snakes, can only produce a limited amount of venom. They do bite but, use dry bites to get you away from them. No spider is going to go out of their way to bite you. Only to defend themselves. And, I'm not sure if it's all spiders, but, tarantula species of spiders are EXTREMELY fragile. They fall from a 2-3ft height they die. Tarantulas also have bald spots on their abdomin due to the hairs on them, they kick the hairs to get away from predators. I prefer to leave spiders alone. Or, catch and release. Well depending on the time of year it is.

  12. Why do we have to keep seeing that prick in the baby blue?! Came for spiders, not liberal YouTube hipsters…😠

  13. 🎶 I'm an Arachnophobiac, Arachnophobiac
    I just don't can't take no more
    And I'm going to scream like I've never screamed before 🎶

  14. Tarantulas are NOT spiders. Yes, they are arachnids. Like the chimp and gorilla and both primates they aren't the other. I rescue Tarantulas and Scorpions. They are fragile, so if you wish to handle them, please don't destroy them.

  15. Wolf spiders are all over are area of Illinois. They seem to come out in large numbers in summertime. On any given night you can easily see 20 them along the trim on the houses or on our wooden decks. They carry there babies on there back. It's creepy to see but also interesting.

  16. There's a slew of those big spiders here in Florida…..I believe they are called golden orb weavers, but we call them banana spiders…..you ride through one those webs on your riding lawnmowers it'll almost pull you off the mower lmfao 😂😂😂

  17. Booo! If you're gonna give us an example of scale, DON'T use something as vague as the size of foods. Unless your brain is the size of a ball of candyfloss. See what I'm getting at.

  18. I see he hasn't seen a camel spider , they are about 12 inches and the body of small rat . They hold their two front legs up and run sideways across the desert . in the congo spiders have been seen about the size of a prius .

  19. Ur narcissism is ruining ur video. The information is all on point but the amount of screen time u give urself is really annoying…. More pictures/videos of the spiders would have been much better as u can find so many better shots in addition to the ones u displayed and instead of seeing cameo after cameo after cameo… Not here to see u guy

  20. Bought my hogna Carolinsis (North Carolina wolf spider) largest in North America for the wolf spider species for $15 in Ohio

  21. Hahaha. I have a Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater. I love how he said “if you ever want to see one, just go to your weird friends house that keeps spiders on purpose”.

  22. Iv got a salmon pink and goliath, both make great pets, and dont believe this prat that there fangs are used as toothpicks, he,s talking out of his arse, usual crap from an idiot who does not know what he,s on about, and if spiders disappeared tomorrow, the eco system would be screwed, pests would explode, spreading diseases, eating crops e tc, human kind would suffer greatly, they are nature's balance, and our friend, they have no interest in harming humans at all

  23. I got sooo itchy sooo quickly. Whew… Why did I do this to myself? I have genuine arachnophobia and apparently I also have a big problem with masochism.

    Actually I knew that, never mind.

  24. The only saving grace of this video is the sexy host. Otherwise, nope nope nope all board the train to nopeville.

  25. I am a vegan (for all the reasons including the most important to me; that the lives of animals should be protected just as humans.) I have rescued countless dogs and cats during my life. Animals are one of my most pervasive passions.

    Except spiders. They can go straight to hell in a gross-ass, web-spun hand basket. To the Brazilian Wandering Spider I say you can wander your ass off a cliff.

  26. Unless you're in the Middle East… deployed in 2010. IMMEDIATELY saw enormous camel apiders…. and there were always things crawling in our boots WITHIN MOMENTS of us taking them off….

  27. I'm confused… Golden Orb Weavers endangered? Solifugids 6 inch LEG SPAN? Are you trying to fit as much misinformation into one video or something?

  28. That golden orb spider can't be that rare….I have seen dozens of them in my life. A flatmate of mine even walked right into a web and got the orb spider stuck between her face and the web. Both frantically tried to get away from each other, both scared each other half to death.

  29. You have a few errors here. Lasiodora Parahyabana aka the salmon pink typically reaches 8 inches not 10. The giant huntsman reaches 12 inches yes but it isn't the largest, Theraphosa Apophysis aka pink foot goliath typically reaches 13 inches.

  30. To all arachniphobes…do NOT watch Kingdom of The Spiders(1977)…the final shot will haunt your dreams….haunt…your…dreams.

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