The Giant Huntsman Spider is widely considered the largest spider in the world; at least by leg span. Heteropoda maxima (that’s the Latin name of the Giant Huntsman Spider) is a member of the Heteropoda genus. It was only discovered in 2001 which – considering the size of this spider – must come as a surprise. The main reason for the spider staying under the radar this long is its habitat. It is only found in Laos (South East Asia) and most likely a cave dweller.
The recorded leg-span of this largest spider in the world is around 30 centimetres. Like all Huntsman spiders its body is relatively small though. There are no reports of lethal encounters so it isn’t quite clear how dangerous the spider is. Most Huntsman spiders are known to pass out painful bites but not necessarily dangerous ones. It moves crab like.
Before the discovery of the Giant Huntsman Spider the Goliath Birdeater was considered the largest spider in the world. Theraphosa blondi is a member of the tarantula group and by a margin the biggest on earth. It has a reported leg-span of nearly 30 centimetres and that in combination with a large body makes it one scary looking monster. Despite the looks it is more or less harmless to humans.
The Goliath Birdeater is native to South America’s rain forests and relatively popular with the natives in remote areas of the jungle. They consider it a treat.