Harvard entomologist Piotr Naskrecki could not believe his eyes when he was at work in the Amazon rainforest.
He was there at night time to study tiny grasshopper. Instead the world's largest spider came crawling towards him at full speed.
It was a painful experience.
In his blog Piotr writes that it sounded like a small horse came running through the rain forest in the middle of the night.
- I could clearly hear its feet hit the ground, and the dry leaves curled up under its weight, he writes.
The spider he met, Goliath bird eater, has bones as long as 30 cm. and it can weigh up to 170 grams. Making it big as a puppy. The spider has so much hair on the body that one would think it had fur.
If the spider gets irritated, it shoots spiked hairs against the enemy.
Natural History Museum describes it as aggressive. The spider emits an audible sound when it moves, and "hisses" when it is disturbed.
- I turned on the light and directed it towards where I heard the sound coming from, and was prepared to see a small mammal, a rat or something. And that's what I thought it was - a big, hairy animal the size of a rodent, he writes.
- Something did not feel right, and for a second the primitive part of my brain regretted that I was alone on the nightly walk. But before the second was over, I rejoiced that I now looked at this wonderful, almost mythical, beast with my own eyes.
The ecstasy quickly passed to pain, as the spider attacked.
- The spider rubbed its legs against the hairy belly. "How sweet," I thought - until a cloud of hair hit my eyeballs and made them itch for several days, he writes.
- The spider also has huge teeths that can pierce the head of a mouse, and it tried to bite me while it hissed, he continue.
After taking pictures of the spider, he decided to let the giant spider alone, and continued the journey before the spider attempted further attacks.
He says that the giant spider is rarely dangerous to humans.
- Besides, they make so much noise when they walk, it would never been able to sneak up on you, he emphasizes.
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