The predatory Monster Spiders are said to viciously attack animals. A shaman in the small town of San Rafael, on the border of Colombia and Venezuela, apparently witnessed a giant tarantula creep out of the jungle and into the village, where it caught a small dog. The spider delivered a fatal dose of poison, and then dragged the dog into the jungle.
Around the world people have told legends of giant spiders measuring up to five feet across, but the largest Monster Spiders have been sighted mainly deep in the Amazon jungle, a legendary location for lurking creatures, such as the poisonous dart frogs and anaconda snakes.
Among the Monster Spider sightings across the world, sizes and descriptions vary, but on the extreme end of the spectrum, eyewitnesses have described specimens up to five feet long. They are said to have huge fangs and hairy bodies the size of small dogs. The largest Monster Spiders are said to have fangs as long as eight or nine inches.
To date, no one has produced evidence of a spider larger than 10.5 inches. But giant pre-historic creatures called Jaekelopterus Rhenaniae existed 390 million years ago. They were large sea scorpions and measured some eight feet in length. In 2007 a fossilized claw of this creature was found in Germany. The claw measured more than 1.5 feet long, suggesting that creatures like scorpions and spiders once grew to monster-sized proportions. The Jaekelopterus Rhenaniae ate large fish and even members of its own kind.
People have claimed to have seen giant spiders throughout history. One recorded example took place in the jungles of the Congo in Central Africa. In 1938 British explorer R.K. Lloyd and his wife Marguerite took an adventure safari for their honeymoon. As they were driving down a jungle track in the middle of the rainforest, they saw a large creature crossing the trail ahead of them. They thought it was a large monkey on all fours but were horrified to see on closer inspection that it was a gigantic spider, with a four to five-foot leg span. They were relieved when it turned and fled at their approach.
Film Duration: 43 min
MonsterQuest: Giant Arachnids
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