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10 scary animals that are totally harmless

By: Bryan Nelson on Aug. 25, 2010, 11:35 a.m.
Goliath birdeater in comparison to a dollar bill

Photo: snakecollector/Flickr

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Goliath birdeater

This gigantic, hairy spider is a tarantula native to the rain forests of South America. It's one of the largest species of spider in the world. It earned its name when it was first discovered devouring a hummingbird, though this spider prefers to dine on insects.

Despite the goliath birdeater's appearance, the size of its fangs and its reputation, this spider is entirely harmless and passive toward humans — as are the vast majority of tarantulas around the world. The spiders do have venom, but their bite would hardly compare to the sting of a wasp. In fact, spider enthusiasts around the world keep these creepy-crawlies as pets.