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biggest spiders in the world

The 10 Biggest Spiders in the World (and the World’s Largest Spider)

Fascinating and silently creepy, spiders have been inciting fearful shrieks all over the world for years. If you’re afraid or merely curious about them, then you might be wondering where the biggest spiders live or what the biggest spider in the world is.

Below is a list of the top 10 largest spiders in the world, where they live, their size and their life span.

Goliath Birdeater: 12 inches (record holder)

The biggest spider in the world is the South American Tarantula or Theraphosa Blondi. Also known as the Goliath bird-eating spider because of an engraving showing another species of the tarantula family eating a hummingbird, this spider mostly eats arthropods.

Biggest spider in the world Goliath Birdeater
The Goliath Birdeater is the largest spider in the world. Its legs can grow up to 30 centimeters or a foot long. Photo by Clints Reptiles

According to the Guinness World Records, its legs can reach up to 30 centimeters or a foot long. It can also weigh more than some newborn kittens at 6 ounces.

This type of spider doesn’t weave webs to capture its prey. Instead, it pounces on its meals and injects neurotoxins into its victims through its fangs. The venom has the ability to liquefy the insides of its victims which makes it easy for the spider to devour them.

Even though they’re the biggest spider on Earth, they are still small compared to other predators. For self-defense, they use tiny hairs or bristles to cover their body. When they feel threatened, they shoot these barbed hairs into the air to irritate the eyes or skin of any predator.

Goliath Birdeater
With its size, it could probably eat a whole bird, but it mostly hunts insects and other invertebrates. Photo by Clints Reptiles

There are some people who choose to take in these spiders as pets, but as a responsible pet owner, you should stay away from adopting them if you’re a beginner or know nothing about spiders.

Although neither the bite nor hair-attack of a Goliath Birdeater would seriously damage humans, it’s best to avoid them. They inhabit the rainforests of Northern Brazil, Venezuela, Suriname and French Guiana.

Giant Huntsman Spider: 12 inches

The giant huntsman or Heteropoda Maxima is the second largest spider in the world. It can grow as big as the goliath birdeater and tend to have longer feet or larger features. They are thinner than the record-holder and are known for their crab-like walk. Adult giant huntsman spiders have a leg span of up to 12 cm and have a body length that can grow up to 2.8 cm.

Unlike the goliath birdeater, getting bit by the giant huntsman can cause serious damage that requires hospitalization.

During hot weather you will hear rhythmically ticking sounds (like that of quartz clocks) made by the males. So best avoid them by walking in the opposite direction. Note that the females don’t make similar sounds.

Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater Spider: 10 inches

Brazilian pink birdeaters are 10 inches long ut can grow up to 11 inches. As its name says, these spiders live in Brazil, although they can also be spotted in Argentina and Paraguay.

It can be identified by its large dark brown bodies that have light salmon flecks which make its length more intimidating. These spiders inject venom into their prey using their fangs. The poison can kill the victim.

Grammostola Anthracina: 10 Inches

Found in Southern America, Grammastola anthracene is another large spider species that are commonly kept as pets. This popular pet tarantula will not bite you unless you forget to feed it. Some varieties of grammostola are capable of living for as long as 20 years. Its habitat lies between Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay.

Poecilotheria Rajaei (Face-size Tarantula): 8 inches

The face-size Tarantulas have approximately eight inches of leg span. It has been found in Sri Lanka and India living in abandoned houses and decays. Typically, its diet is a bird, snake or lizard. These tarantulas feature pink daffodils on the legs and pink bands around their skin. Scientists hadn’t discovered these species until 2012 and biologists believe that some more species are unknown within Sri Lankan northern regions. However, they’ve been dangerously cautious due to ongoing conflicts.

Hercules Baboon Spider: 8 inches

The Hercules Baboon spider or King Baboon spider (Pelinobius muticus) got its name because its legs resemble a baboon’s fingers.  King baboon spiders are found in the Eastern African habitat. It grows slowly up to 20 cm or 8 inches.

This species belonging to the family of tarantulas can be seen in different parts of Nigeria and is said to be the rarest of the tarantula family.

So does the Hercules Baboon spider bite? It does bite but only when provoked. Its venom is not harmful to humans but it can be infected if not treated at once.

Colombian Giant Redleg Tarantula: 6-8 inches

The Colombian giant redlegs or the Colombian giant tarantula (Megaphobema robustum), are pest eaters that eat mice and lizards. It has a leg span that can grow up to 20 cm.

Megaphobema’s personality has remained popular due to its abrasive nature. It is docile but can be skittish when provoked. They can bite but they’re not as poisonous as it can be compared to a bee sting.

As a defense mechanism, the spider spins, can run really fast, and hits with a spiked rear leg. It can be found near trees in tropical rainforests in Brazil.

Camel Spider: 6 inches

The camel spider or Galeodes arabs are often camel-colored and live within the desert. There have been rumors surrounding these spiders being huge venomous predators that can run as fast as humans and can east huge mammals. The rumors are false, of course.

Camel Spider biggest spiders in the world
Camel Spider (Photo by Brain Scoop)

Though amazing predators, the camel spider mostly hunts insects, rodents and small birds. Though they belong to the family of arachnids, they are actually solpugids, a smaller group of arachnids.

Camel spiders live in the desert and boast powerful jaws that can take up a third of their body length.

Brazilian Wandering Spider: 5.9 Inches

It is not one of the bigger spiders, but it is the scariest. The Brazilian wandering spider or Phoneutria fera has the appearance of being similar to tarantulas but is different in the way that they are thinner than tarantulas. They are also sometimes called the banana spiders of Brazil (not to be mistaken for its smaller cousin the banana spider or calico spider),

The Brazilian Wandering Spider can be found in tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South Africa. They are characterized by the banding pattern on their upper legs and they can also be found on banana leaves. Guinness does not have an aggressive class, but the banana spider could easily rank at the top of the list.

These spiders prey on mouse and insect larvae.

Cerbalus Aravaensis – 5.5-inch Leg Span

Cerbalus aravaensis is Israel’s largest spider, found in the Valleys of both Jordan and Israel. The species was discovered in 2003 during research conducted on both sides of the border. C. aravaensis has a leg span of 14 cm which makes it the largest spider in the Middle East.

This species is more active at night, more specifically in the summer months. You can find them in sand dunes, particularly in stable sands. These spiders live in underground dens with hinged, trap-door-like opening made of sand and their spiderweb. This is a way to disguise their homes from predators.

What is the largest species of tarantula?

The Tarantula Goliath is the world’s largest tarantula. Its legs alone have a length from 4.5 inches (12 cm) to 4.5 inches (12 mm).

What is the largest spider ever?

The most powerful spiders in history are Goliaths bird eaters Theraphosa blondi. It weighs approximately 8 kilograms and can reach lengths up to 5.3 inches, making it a terrifying insect.

Where is the world’s largest spider located?

The species was found hiding under the ground in a cave in 2001 in Laos. It is a big crawling machine that reaches over an acre.

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