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Scientists discovered a super-sized trapdoor spider that is haunting my nightmares

Published Apr 1st, 2023 9:20PM EDT
a trapdoor spider on the ground
Image: Hanjo Hellmann / Adobe

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In case your nightmares haven’t been flooded with enough bad things lately, scientists have discovered a new and equally terrifying trapdoor spider that’s bigger than any humanity has discovered yet. The new species, named Euoplos dignitas, is larger than traditional trapdoor spiders. The species was discovered by Queensland Museum scientists in Australia. 

Of course, it shouldn’t be surprising that Australia is home to even more creepy crawlies than we expected. I’ve always heard from friends who live within the country that the spiders there are massive, and while the scientists didn’t share the size of this new species of trapdoor spider, they’re apparently much bigger than the standard 1.5 inches that they normally measure, like the one seen above. 

The scientists say that the new species of trapdoor spider looks to build its homes within the black dirt of the Brigalow Belt, which is found in central Queensland. Much of the spider’s home environment has been upset thanks to land clearing, a problem that has continued to leave species of animals and other creatures suffering. Other notable victims of land clearing include the now-extinct Tasmanian Tiger

Like other trapdoor spiders, the Euoplos dignitas builds burrows in the ground and then utilizes a small trapdoor made of silk above its lair to help protect it from the elements. When they need to feed, the spiders open their little trapdoor and gobble up any unsuspecting insects nearby. It’s a terrifying and intriguing way for the spiders to hunt and shows how different the different species of eight-legged crawlers can be. 

Australia is also home to other massive spiders, like a mega spider found in 2021. Much like this new species of trapdoor spider, scientists were intrigued to discover that such a spider existed. Perhaps one of the most important things about discovering and naming these new species is that this also helps protect the spiders from ongoing issues of habitat loss due to land clearing and other factors. 

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.