Newly Discovered Giant Spider is of the Nightmare-Inducing Variety

Melissa Knowles
Trending Now

Of all of the creepy and crawly things that you can think of, tarantulas probably are near the top of the list when it comes to scariness. Well, get ready to add another terrifying arachnid to your list, because a new type of tarantula has been discovered in northern Sri Lanka.

Ranil Nanayakkara, a local researcher, and his team found the tiger spider and named it Poecilotheria rajaei, after a local police investigator, Michael Rajakumar Purajah. Purajah helped the team of scientists navigate the remote area where the spider was found.

The genus Poecilotheria is known for being fast, colorful, and venomous. But why does this newly discovered species stand out from all the rest in its genus? It's huge, for one thing. Its leg span is up to 8 inches across, about the length of your face. It also has distinctive markings on its underside and legs that are geometrically patterned and described as daffodil-yellow and gray.

So what do these spiders eat? They have a taste for small snakes, birds, and mice. Nanayakkara explained why they were able to find P. rajaei in an unusual place -- an old doctor's office. "They prefer well-established old trees, but due to deforestation, the number have dwindled and due to lack of suitable habitat, they enter old buildings."

One thing is for sure -- unless you're a spider lover, you would not want to cross paths with this guy. He just might stop you in your tracks.

[Related: Bat-Eating Spiders Are Everywhere]

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