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10 scary animals that are totally harmless

By: Bryan Nelson on Aug. 25, 2010, 11:35 a.m.
A camel spider crawls across sand granules.

Photo: M Hedin/Flickr

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Giant arachnids

Despite often being referred to as camel spiders or wind scorpions, these giant arachnids aren't spiders or scorpions and instead inhabit their own distinct order, Solifugae.

They can grow to be several inches long, can run as fast as 10 mph. Many American and coalition military forces who encounter them in the Middle East tell stories of camel spiders with an appetite for human flesh. This urban legend is ridiculous, of course, and these creepy-crawlies are actually great for pest control because they prefer to eat other insects. (Still, a lightning-fast, 8-legged bug could prompt the inner arachnophobe in anyone.)