HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT, SENCKENBERG INSTITUT  (Germany)

Worldcrunch

FRANKFURT - German scientists discovered what may be the world’s biggest spider species in a limestone cave in Laos, the Hamburger Abendblatt reports.

Researchers from the Senckenberg Institut in Frankfurt, biodiversity specialists, reported that they found a spider with legs that span 33 cm (13 inches). The largest spider ever found, an Amazon species, measured 34 cm. The Laos spider is a “Daddy Longlegs” with spindly legs and a small body, and is not considered dangerous to humans. 

[Photo: Senckenberg Institut]

Southern Laos seem to produce especially large creepy-crawlies, said Dr. Peter Jäger, a spider specialist at the Institut who was exploring the cave in his spare time from working on a television series.

Other species from these caves include giant crab spiders up to 30 cm (12 inches) wide, a scorpion 26 cm (10 inches) long, and a centipede almost 40 cm long (16 inches). The reason for this gigantism in the limestone caves is unclear, Jäger said.

(NOTE TO READERS: For those who clicked on the story to see a scary spider photo, our apologies. But here's a video to make it up to you...)