While we’re on spider debunkings, Piotr Naskrecki’s “puppy spider” story is making the media rounds this week, spawning the usual juvenile Nopes and Kill It With Fires! With every re-telling the spider gets bigger, of course.

Not to rain on the Goliath spider parade, but what Piotr originally reported was:

they weigh up to 170 g – about as much as a young puppy.”

170 grams is big. By arthropod standards, it’s huge. But the spider is not, say, the Shelob people are imagining. For perspective, I’ve marked 170 grams on a standard puppy growth chart.
 
spider

 

Puppy spider is not a 3 week old Labrador. It’s the weight, at birth, of a Chihuahua. Big, sure, but you’re not going to saddle this thing up and ride it to work.

The spider looks huge in the photographs for another reason, too. Piotr used wide-angle lenses that exaggerate the size of foreground relative to background objects. This wide-angle macro effect is a technique that Piotr does especially well. And it makes big spiders look larger than life.

Anyway, if you’d like one of Piotr’s puppy spiders for your living room wall, he’s just put a print on sale for prices so low he can’t be making any money:

Photo copyright Piotr Naskrecki, all rights reserved.