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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 is 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.