Arachnophobes, you’re about to be shaking in your boots at the sight of this gigantic spider, which is bigger than the size of your hand!
Although Goliath, or Theraphosa blondi is considered the most terrifying spider in the world, it may be because it is the largest spider ever found on earth, with a wingspan of thirty centimeters, and a body weight of between 120 and 170 grams.
Its fangs, measuring two centimeters long, release a neurotoxic venom that fortunately has very little effect on humans, although the pain is still very intense in the case of a bite. Its coat functions as a further weapon, as it is highly allergenic. Strong and painful itching can follow if it touches off a sensitive area of the body (the eyes, the mucous membranes, etc.).
Females live for between 6 and 15 years, with a record of 28 years of age registered for a bred spider. However, the males live for only 3 to 6 years. In terms of spawning, maturation time is less than two months, and there are between 100 and 400 eggs produced each time!
Although this spider is rather frightening, it should be noted that it lives in the humid tropical forests of South America, and is mainly found in Brazil, Venezuela, or French Guiana. Humans are not among its victims, as the Goliath spider feeds mainly on all sorts of insects, birds and frogs as well as small mammals or even snakes.
The Goliath spider is still far less dangerous than other spiders such as the Wandering spider (Phoneutria) for example. This spider, present in the banana plantations of Latin America, can inject a venom that contains two toxins which can cause asphyxia as well as a loss of muscle control.
Here is an extract from a National Geographic video on the Goliath Spider: