10 Reasons Why The Brazilian Wandering Spider Is Your New Nightmare

If you’re afraid of spiders, then fair warning: this post is going to stoke your arachnophobia like no other. No matter what spider you’re talking about, there are a few characteristics it’ll have that creep some people out. (E.g., it’s a spider, it has legs, it’s hairy, it’s ugly, etc.) Those are normal (creepy) traits that most spiders have.

Well, prepare to meet an insanely aggressive spider that breaks the normal “spider” mold. This is the Brazilian Wandering Spider, and here are 10 reasons why you should fear it.

1.) It’s the most venomous spider in the world.

According to the 2010 Guinness Book Of World Records, the Brazilian wandering spider is the most venomous spider in the world. (Technically, the spider’s venom is the most toxic in the world.) Luckily for the human race, there is a very effective antivenom for the wandering spider’s bites. But that still doesn’t make them any less painful.

2.) They love to wander.

You might wonder where or how exactly the Brazilian wandering spider got its name. That’s simple, it’s called that because it loves to wander. It doesn’t spin webs like other spiders, and instead wanders on the jungle floor (or in your bed) looking for prey.

These spiders hunt mostly at night, so during the day they stay in the shadows, out of sight. However, because they like to wander, it’s not uncommon for people to find these spiders in dark places in their homes, cars, inside shoes, and even under piles of clothing.

3.) Not easy to miss.

These spiders can grow to be pretty big. An adult Brazilian wandering spider can have a leg span up to six inches. (Most spiders have an average leg span of about an inch if that helps you be any less terrified of this creature.)

4.) They’re aggressive.

While most spiders will hear us humans coming and run away, the Brazilian wandering spider does the opposite. It goes out and attacks. Yeah, not cool, right?

The bright side of this (if you can call it that) is that these spiders don’t always inject venom when they bite. They will occasionally deliver what is know as a “dry bite” as a warning, or to buy time for escape. Or maybe they’re just messing with us and keeping us guessing.

5.) They’re spreading in parts of the world.

While the traditional habitat of the Brazilian wandering spider is in South America, they have been spotted in far flung places around the world. This is because they like to hitch rides with shipments of fruit and vegetables leaving Brazil. For example, the wandering spider has made a number of appearances in the United Kingdom.

6.) If a man is bitten, something not so fun happens.

One of the more unpleasant side effects of a wandering spider bite only affects men. The venom will cause most men to have a painful erection that lasts for hours.

The only good thing about this is that the spider’s venom is being used to research cures for erectile dysfunction.

7.) They have a terrifying warning dance.


When the wandering spider is feeling threatened, it will initiate a “warning dance,” to try to ward off its attackers. It does this by raising its two front legs high into the air, and moving from side to side. It’s actually a pretty terrifying sight.

8.) It’s a deadly predator.

During the night time hours, the Brazilian wandering spider searches for its prey on the jungle floor. This prey includes a variety of insects and small mammals. So, if you’re a rodent, you really want to steer clear of these beasts when the sun goes down.

9.) They’re sometimes called “banana spiders.”

In some circles, the Brazilian wandering spider is called the “banana spider.” This is because the spider has been known to hitch rides in crates of fruit, namely bananas. When the spider has been spotted outside of South America, quite often it is hiding alongside this fibrous fruit.

10.) Their Greek name literally means “murderess.”

If you’re not convinced by now that the Brazilian wandering spider is bad news, then how about this: the Greek name for the spider Phoneutria literally translates to murderess.

Alright well I think I’m just about convinced to stay inside forever…

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