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Angolan Witch Spider

Claim:   Photograph shows a huge Angolan witch spider.

FALSE

Example:   [Collected via Facebook, February 2013]

Angolan Witch spider as big as half a house, supposedly migrated from South America. HUGE!!! Eats dogs and cats, etc. Takes several bullets to kill it.

 

Origins:   Just a glimpse of this photograph showing a huge Angolan witch spider — said to be so large that it preys on dogs and cats and requires several bullets to kill — is enough to send arachnophobes scrambling for a safe place to hide.

No need to worry, though; this picture just a bit of digital fakery. There is no species of arachnid known as an "Angolan witch spider," and even the world's largest spiders aren't nearly as big as the one pictured above. The largest known spider species have a legspan of no more than about 12 inches and in repose will generally fit into the hand of an adult human male.

The artist who concocted the image of the seemingly giant spider shown above, Paul Santa Maria, sent us a copy of the original photograph of a wolf spider which he used in creating it:



Last updated:   10 April 2014

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