The scientific name for this new-found arachnid would be perfect for either an extreme metal band or a demonic super-villain: Cryptomaster behemoth.
Yeah, that information alone should be enough to send arachnophobes running for the nearest hermetically-sealed, sterile environment. Everyone else stick around, ‘cuz I’m just getting started here.
According to CNN, the behemoth is a rare, supersize species of daddy longlegs — also known as “harvestmen,” because they often prey on other arthropods — which has recently been discovered in the mountains of southwest Oregon. They are actually on a separate biological branch from spiders and scorpions, though they are closely related to both.
The first images and descriptions of this new species were documented in the peer-reviewed zoological journal ZooKeys, as part of a large-scale hunt across much of the Pacific Northwest.
The closest cousin to behemoth is the equally awesome-named Cryptomaster leviathan, which was also found in Oregon, but its existence was documented over four decades ago. According to experts at San Diego University, the two species are so similar in appearance that they can only be told apart by comparing DNA samples.
By the way, it might comfort you to know that none of the Cryptomaster species are venomous, so they’re harmless to humans. So if you see one in the wild, just let ’em crawl all over you. They love it!
Speaking of which: did you ever wonder what might happen if you stuck your hand in a gigantic nest of them? Well, then we’ve got a little video here you might like…