Friday, October 7, 2011

Halloween Festival Of Lists: October 7: SEVEN Shriek-Worthy Arachnids

I seriously could not run fast enough if I witnessed this...
 Casting fear into the hearts of millions, spiders are one of the most feared creatures on the planet.  While I am not going to pull a Jeff Daniels/Arachnophobia on anyone, I'm not exactly excited when I see an eight-legged freak crawling in my bathroom. 

Normally all we have in these parts are daddy long-legs and fuzzy brown wood spiders and such, with the occasional brown recluse to shake things up.  But in some parts of the world, there are some dastardly looking beasts that make me want to just curl up and die rather than run into.   Such as...

 Goliath Bird-eating Tarantula. 

Getting its name long ago when witnessed eating a hummingbird, this giant can be up to a foot across.
They are indigenous to the rain forests of South America and the females can live up to 25 years!  Perhaps that's because they eat their mates after sex.  Nice.

Their venom isn't poisonous and feels somewhat like a bee sting. thanks.

 Giant Wood Spider

These big buggers are generally found in southeast Asia and Northern Australia. And thank God for that.  If I were to run across one of these it's possible I would have a stroke.

They are a type of Golden Silk Orb Weaver, which generally means they weave the most impressive webs in Spiderland.

Their venom is not lethal to humans, but can be painful and may even leave a scar.  Wouldn't matter to me, because it's quite possible I would be running a goddamned marathon to get away from this sucker.

Bizarre little tidbit:  In Japanese superstitions, the orb weaver supposedly can shapeshift into a seductress.
Um, okay...

Australian Funnel Web Spider

One of the most dangerous spiders in the world, these friendly looking monstrosities are keen on water and are oft found in swimming pools.  Now wouldn't that be neato?  Thing is, they can survive in the water for hours...just waiting for you to take your nightly dip after work.

Their bite is painful, extremely poisonous, and nearly always by the male of the species. Without anti-venom, you can die within 15 minutes...or you can linger for up to three days. 

Camel Spider

This freaky, mutant looking thing is nicknamed the camel spider but in truth is another type of arachnid called a wind scorpion.  No matter what it is, it's balls to the wall creepy.

Apparently they do not have venom and don't spin webs like regular spiders, but they are quite fast and when they do bite - even without venom - the wounds are prone to infection because their fangs rip nasty wounds. 

If you ask me, it looks a bit like the face-hugger in Alien. 

Brazilian Wandering Spider

Long-recorded as the most venomous spider on earth, this eight-legged wonder loves to hide inside your house.
They like it dark, damp, and are extremely active at night.  They tend to lift their legs up when challenged, and delivers the most venom of any spider, which is part of the reason they are so dangerous. 

Thankfully they are only found in Central and South America.

Wandering Spiders' bite is also known to cause priapism in men after being bitten.  Erections can last for hours at a time, and perhaps not surprisingly, the venom from these spiders is being researched in conjunction with erectile dysfunction.  True story.

Red Back Spider

Lucky Australia!  They really have the corner on the market for dangerous and big-ass spiders. 

Closely related to our own Black Widow (and resembling it almost exactly), this spider causes extreme pain with its bite.  It also lives up to the reputation of the Black Widow for the females consuming the males during mating. 

Perhaps the perfect spider, they are also wicked fast and are prolific breeders, laying up to 5000 eggs.
Almost makes that scene in The Mist pale in comparison. Yikes.

Tailless Whip Scorpion

On the show Fear Factor several years ago I watched participants consume "Mexican Cave Dwelling Spiders" in what I thought was the foulest thing I have ever watched anyone eat in my life.  I actually stopped watching that show after that. 
However, the spiders were misidentified.  They are not true spiders, though they are from the arachnid family. 

Again preferring the humid conditions found in South America and the likes, these flat-bodied nightmare-inducing fellows also do not spin webs or have venom.  In addition, they are quite social and have shown great interest and care in their young, using their legs to cuddle and caress them.
Not that that makes me feel any better. 


PhilH said...

Truly horrifying, I've got chills up my back looking at the pictures. Most Spiders can be sorted out with a good thump from a rolled up newspaper, but how do you deal with the swarm in the first picture! Only a flamethrower and maybe a 2000lb bomb...just to be sure.

Budd said...

I don't mind spiders in the house. They tend to eat other annoying bugs and if there is nothing to eat, they tend to make their way outside.

That being said, I don't want them crawling on me. My wife does not understand any of my above points, however.

Fatally Yours said...


Thank goodness I don't live in Australia or South America!

Anonymous said...

I won't be sleeping again anytime soon....

Dave said...

This list brings back memories! When I lived in Australia I did some work clearing out an old house which had many Funnel Web spiders lurking in it. Worked on a farm, where the outside toilet had Red Backs swarming. Travelling through the far northern rainforests I once encountered the Giant Wood Spider & their nightmarish webs. Thankfully I never got bitten. Scary as all of these creatures are, they're beautiful up close. Thankfully Ireland has harmless spiders... & no snakes. Dave

Zombie Mom said...

I have no idea why I read I'm itchy...

Christine Hadden said...

Phil: That first pic bothered me more than all the others. All those little scurrying legs! Ahh!!

Budd: I am both intrigued and horrified by spiders. They are so damn interesting but like you, I sure don't want them ON me!

Sarah: I'm not even sure I would VISIT Australia at all, considering the nasty spiders, snakes, crocs, and serial killers out in the bush. Not cool!

Catherine: I actually wrote that post right before I went to bed. Can I just say that was a monumental mistake?

Dave: Yep, NO Australia for me. No thanks. I'll take a pass.

Mindy: It's the curiosity that made you's like a car accident, you can't help it ;)