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Nightmare unveiled: Newly discovered ‘Satan’ tarantula and cryptic Viper will haunt your dreams

Discovered during the quest for new tree spider species in 2021, these creatures are now haunting the scientific world


Scientists in Central and Western Ecuador have stumbled upon two terrifying new species that might fuel your nightmares – an eight-eyed tarantula with the attitude of “Satan” and a cryptic 3-foot snake lurking in the swamps. 

Discovered during the quest for new tree spider species in 2021, these creatures are now haunting the scientific world.

Officially dubbed Psalmopoeus satanas, or the Satan tarantula, this hairy arachnid earned its name due to its notably “bad temperament.” Researchers encountered this nightmarish creature in the mountains of Ecuador, under a bamboo tree, where it fiercely resisted capture.

The Satan tarantula found in the Andes mountains of Ecuador is named for its “bad temperament.”.—NY Post
The Satan tarantula found in the Andes mountains of Ecuador is named for its “bad temperament.”.—NY Post 

The spider’s attempts to fend off researchers included quick and sporadic movements, nearly too fast to perceive. Despite its challenging behaviour, scientists at Universidad San Francisco de Quito grew fond of the specimen during their studies, even though it displayed a “bad temperament and sporadic attacks.”

Lead co-author Pedro Peñaherrera-R. explained, “Psalmopoeus satanas is appropriately named because the initial individual that was collected had an attitude!” The spider, belonging to the venomous Psalmopoeus genus, is now considered “critically endangered” due to ecosystem threats like illegal mining and agriculture. It resides in the Andes mountains between 2,800 feet and about 3,100 feet.

Meanwhile, in the mangrove swamps of central Myanmar, researchers stumbled upon another creature of nightmares – the Ayeyarwady pit viper, officially named Trimeresurus ayeyarwadyensis. 

Ayeyarwady pit vipers are poisonous and can grow to more than 3 feet long. It lives in the mangrove forests of Myanmar.—NY Post
Ayeyarwady pit vipers are poisonous and can grow to more than 3 feet long. It lives in the mangrove forests of Myanmar.—NY Post 

Initially misidentified as a known species in 2000, DNA analysis later revealed them to be a “distinct species.” These vipers, growing over 3 feet long, have light green backs, white bellies, and eyes ranging “from deep red to golden.” As with all vipers, they are venomous.

These discoveries, though chilling, contribute to our understanding of biodiversity, highlighting the mysterious and sometimes fearsome creatures hidden within Earth’s diverse ecosystems.

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