The 9 biggest and scariest spiders in the world

Arachnophobics, look the other way... Here's a list of the 9 biggest spiders in the world.  In a nutshell?  They're huge!  If you live in Europe, you won't be at risk.  If you live in the tropics? Check your shoes before you slip them on...

So next time you squeal because there's a tiny spider above your bed, thank your lucky stars it's not one of these guys!

1. Phormictopus Cancerides or Hispaniolan Giant Tarantula

Leg span: 18 cm
Native to: the Antilles and Brazil

18 cm is a lot of leg… And 2 cm is a lot of fang! Trust us, you don't want this spider sinking his teeth into your flesh!

© Giphy

2. The Califorctenus Cacachilensis or Sierra Cacachilas Wandering Spider 

Leg span: 23 cm
Native to: Southern California and Mexico

A recent addition to the spider world: measuring the size of a plate, there's no California Dreamin' with this one!

3. The Lasiodora Parahybana AKA the Brazilian Salmon Pink

Leg span: 25 cm
Native to: Brazil

A big spider with a huge appetite!  As well as feeding on insects, this creepy-crawlie also eats small mammals and reptiles.  It's the second largest tarantula in the world and females can weigh up to 100g! 

4. The Theraphosa Blondi or Goliath Birdeater

Leg span: 30 cm
Native to: South America

The largest of the tarantula family, weighing in at between 120 and 130 grams. Some have weighed as much as 170g.  Its venom is neurotoxic (although no worse than a wasp sting if it bites a human), but its 2 cm fangs will certainly draw blood!  This is a nocturnal spider and females can live for 6 to 15 years in the wild, or 25 if held in captivity.  Males, however, have a much shorter lifespan of 3 to 6 years.

5. The Poecilotheria or Tiger Spider

Leg span: 30 cm
Native to: India and Sri Lanka

This venomous spider is quick and agile, thanks to its long front legs.  It won't kill us, but its bites will hurt like hell and its poison is strong enough to cause swelling, muscular pain, nausea and even headaches.  A colorful beast, but one to avoid!

6. The Sparassidae or Huntsman Spider

Leg span: 60 cm
Native: Southern Hemisphere

These giant spiders bite, but they're not considered to be a danger to humans.  They're native to southern hemisphere countries and huge male specimens in Laos have been known to reach a leg span of 30 cm.

7. The Heteropoda Maxima AKA Giant Huntsman Spider

Leg span: 60 cm
Native to: Caves in Laos

This spider is the biggest land-living species, with a body that measures around 4.6cm.  It doesn't weave webs, but nests in caves.  This giant doesn't need to inject poison, unless its bite fails to kill its prey.  Its favorite dish? Cave crickets!

8. Macrocheira Kaempferi or Japanese Crab Spider

Leg span: 3.5 meters
Native to: Japan

The biggest anthropod in the world, they're sea-dwelling 'spiders' and their flesh is considered to be a culinary delicacy in Japan.  Despite their size, Japanese Crab Spiders can be kept in captivity and are often found in aquariums.

9. Tobey Maguire

'Leg span': 1.73 meters
Native to: USA

Seriously?  Well, why not? He's Spiderman - the biggest and most powerful of our eight-legged friends!

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