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Southeast Asia, explained

In Laos, a freakishly long "daddy long legs" is discovered

From leg to leg, arachnid spans more than one foot
Laos daddy long legs 2012Enlarge
Researchers from Germany's Senckenberg Institute have located a species of "Grand Daddy Long Legs" arachnid in Laos with a gigantic foot-long span from leg to leg. (Senckenberg Institute/Screengrab)

You may or may not have heard of Germany's Senckenberg Institute. But in the discovering-bizarre-spiders-in-Laos-caves community, they are on an undeniable roll.

Months ago, inside a pitch-black Lao cave, a scientist with the institute discovered a bizarre spider with no eyes.

Now, according to the institute, they've found a gigantic version of an arachnid best known on American porches as a "grand daddy long legs."

Most North American varities will fit in an adult human's hand. This species has a leg span of 13 inches.

That is long enough for this yet-to-be-named creature to grip both of my ears and scrape at my eyes. (Yes, I just measured my head.)

According to Peter Jäger, the researcher who found the arachnid, there are likely more species with "gigantism" dwelling in Lao caves. But ,he said, this and other gigantic cave-dwelling species can still grow but so large "either due to the lack of oxygen supply to the long appendages or because, when fleeing or catching prey, long legs can no longer be moved quickly enough."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/southeast-asia/laos-freakishly-long-daddy-long-legs-discovered