If we've been scaring the hell out of you with all these articles about spiders taking over the world, then obviously we're doing our job. But with that said, arachnids do get a bad rep... and it's not always undeserved, either; some spiders can straight-up kill you. But the seriously big ones, like South America's Goliath bird-eater, aren't quite the monsters the movies make them out to be... well, unless you're a bird, of course.
Actually, the “bird-eater” handle is an exaggeration, as entomologists say the Goliath tarantula – whose scientific name is Theraphosa blondi – doesn't typically prey on birds (while there are many spider species who eat bats, as we told you about earlier). But he could if he really wanted to, and he's been known to eat large rodents, frogs, snakes and lizards. Goliath's venom is not lethal to humans... in fact, the poison-laced hairs on their legs, which they can shed when threatened, are far more toxic.
In an episode of the National Geographic series World's Weirdest, the Goliath is described as “a tarantula with a PR problem,” and when you watch their footage of this dude in action, it's not hard to understand why. It's hard enough to get past the whole “biggest damn spider ever” stigma, but he's also got a pretty bad attitude, with that whole hissing and rearing-up thing.