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Largest Spider Fossil Found… Nightmares Guaranteed

| Filed under: Wacky, Tacky & TrueSpider

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LOOK AT THAT FOSSIL.

It's… it's so hard to even look at.

This hellspawn monstrosity fossil specimen was found in a layer of volcanic ash in Inner Mongolia, China.

Here's the good news, though:

Nephila jurassica wasn't all that monstrous, despite being the largest spider fossil ever found.

Phew!

So while the fossil looks like something out of David Lynch's nightmares, the actual measurements of it aren't TOO terrifying:

The fossil was about as large as its modern relatives, with a body one inch (2.5 centimeters) wide and legs that reach up to 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) long. Golden orb-weavers nowadays are mainly tropical creatures, so the ancient environment of Nephila jurassica probably was similarly lush.

The find was documented in the April 20 edition of Biology Letters. Dating back 165 million years, the fossil traces the genus Nephalia back an additional 35 million years than was previously known.

According to Wired, spiders from the same genus still exist today. The golden orb weaving spider, the fossil's modern relative, can grow to 4 or even 5 inches. However, fossils of its relatives are rare.

Such relief! But, unfortunately, what we imagined is already in our brains (think about spiders being inside your brains for a second) and added to our nightmare files.

Kinda cool, though, regardless!

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