Posted Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at 12:32 PM
Senckenberg Research Institute.
Arachnophobes and anyone who ever plans to visit the wilds of Laos, look away now. A scientist filming a TV show in the Southeast Asian nation has discovered a giant harvestman, also known as a daddy longlegs, with a limb-span of more than a foot.
Discovered in a local cave, the oversized critter hasn't been identified at the species level yet. It appears to be part of several peculiarly mutated arachnids that have been discovered in the area, though no compelling explanation for the "gigantism" has been found. At 13 inches, the new discovery is just short of the 13.4-inch record for a harvestman, set by a specimen found in South America.
The good news for those spooked by spiders is that these jumbo cousins, like all "daddy longlegs," lack venom and fangs.