The creepy-crawly world of spiders recently got a new member: Aphonopelma johnnycashi, a tarantula species named for the late country singer Johnny Cash. The spider is abundant near Folsom State Prison in California, where Cash recorded a famous live album in 1968. The tarantula's dark coloration also reminded researchers of Cash's preference for black attire.
If you end up getting bitten by adult male shown here, you may end up with a bee-sting-like irritation. But consider yourself lucky; unlike Aphonopelma johnnycashi, the following spiders are considered the most dangerous on Earth.
Credit: Dr. Chris A. Hamilton
12. Sac spiders
The nasty-looking wound has been attributed to a sac spider by its apparent victim, Andrew Leigh of South Africa.
Credit: Andrew Leigh
Sac spiders: Skin-killing wounds
These spiders are usually pale in color but vary in species. They can cause problems for humans in more ways that one; at least one version of this spider is thought to be attracted to the smell of gasoline-a lure so powerful that the critters will build nests in engines.
Ranking spiders by dangerousness is largely a subjective thing; some have more powerful venom, while others apparently bite more often. But here's a loose ranking based on, if nothing else, downright scariness.
There's nothing false about the threat from the false widow spider, often cited as the most venomous in the United Kingdom.
Credit: Joaquim Alves Gaspar/Wikimedia Commons
False widow: Real pain
British pro soccer player James Gray found that out the hard way in February 2016, when a spider bite, attributed to a false widow, landed him in the hospital.
He needed surgery to cut out the subsequent infection on his right arm, leaving a nasty hole, a photo of which he posted on Twitter.
Credit: James Phillip Gray via Twitter
10. Katipo spider
If the back end of this New Zealand spider looks familiar, that's because it has some very nasty, very infamous sisters: American widows.
The neurotoxin of the female brown widow, shown here, is at least as potent as that of the much-feared black widow. That said ...
Brown widow: Shy biters
... brown widows are also shy critters, and their bites are thought to be less capable of significant venom transfer, compared with their black cousins. In other words, though her bite is considered dangerous, the effects of a brown widow's venom are usually confined to the bite area and surrounding tissue.
Pale cousin: White widows
Not every venomous button spider dresses in black. This member of the widow, or Latrodectus, genus, is called pallidus, for obvious reasons. It's unclear why the Republic of Kazakhstan honored this striking spider with an official stamp, but what we do know is this: The white color is not a signal of defeat for this spider. Not if you've been bitten by one.
Credit: Republic of Kazakhstan
8. Hairy mystery spider
Sometimes the panic from a suspected spider infestation can be just as dangerous as a bite itself.
In 2012, this insect, at first suspected to be a previously undiscovered species of tarantula, caused a wave of fear in the Indian state of Assam, with colonies of them reportedly attacking villagers and causing painful swelling.
Hairy mystery spider: Nasty bites
Two victims who reportedly were bitten later died in Tinsukia district of Assam. But authorities later said they weren't sure whether the patients perished as a result of an animal bite ... or from treatment by witch doctors who cut them with razor blades to drain the wounds.
In the aftermath of the panic, scientists have expressed doubt that any spider-newly discovered or otherwise-was to blame for deaths.
7. Black widow spider
The bite of a female black widow is thought to be 15 times more potent than that of a rattlesnake. A bite can cause severe muscle pain and spasms, as well as abdominal cramps, for up to a week.
More than 2,000 people report black widow bites yearly, but deaths are rare these days.
Credit: CDC/James Gathany
6. Brown recluse spider
If you see a brown spider with a violin shape on its back, proceed with caution: You're looking at a brown recluse. Most bites are minor, but occasionally, skin around a brown recluse bite will become necrotic, turning a dark color and becoming a deep, open sore as it dies.
Credit: Carolyn Kaster/AP
Brown recluse: Shutting down schools
Fear over brown recluses is so high that at least one Pennsylvania elementary school shut down last year after nests were discovered there. The spiders were thought to have hitched a ride into the school via a produce box.
Brown recluse bite
Why the panic? Well, this is what a brown recluse bite looks like. The woman who suffered this bite on her thigh suffered a necrotic ulcer that took weeks to heal.
Credit: Centers for Disease Control
5. Sicarius spiders
These spiders, including this Sicarius terrosus, have a venom so dangerous it can kill tissue, thin blood and blood vessels, and cause open sores nearly an inch in diameter.
In an experimental setting, rabbits bitten by these spiders died in a matter of hours, though there isn't a large body of evidence about the poison's effect on humans.
Credit: Beliar Spider via Wikimedia Commons
Sicarius spiders: Now you see me ...
Drop for drop, some Sicarius spiders are thought to have some of the most potent venom out there, perhaps even more destructive than that of the recluse family.
That said, Sicarius spiders don't actively seek a fight, nor do they roam looking for food. They strike from ambush, burying themselves in sand or dry soil before patiently waiting for prey.
Credit: SaminalPlanet via YouTube
Sicarius spiders: Careful handling
The owner of this Sicarius spider had to relocate it to a pen with higher walls to "prevent escape," given that it's "fast as heck and packs a nasty punch."
Credit: agkistrodon_bilineatus_jack via Instagram
Sicarius spiders: Sweet disposition?
Sam Sheikali, the owner of this Sicarius spider, has never been bitten by her.
"I'm unsure if it's Sicarius hahni or Sicarius terrosus, but the venom toxicity is essentially the same," he tells CBS News. "Compared to the nasty attitudes of my other spiders and scorpion, she is cuddly as can be ... It's very, very difficult to get her to display any defensiveness."
Credit: SaminalPlanet via Instagram
4. Chilean recluse spider
Among the recluse spiders, this one is often considered to be the most dangerous.
Bite victims may suffer symptoms ranging from mild skin irritation to severe premature death of skin or other cells. Rarely, death can occur; one study cites death in about three to four percent of cases.
Chilean recluse bite
According to the Centers for Disease Control, this patient displayed severe necrosis one week after being bitten by a Chilean recluse.
Wounds such as these may take months, or even years, to heal, and can leave deep scars.
3. Brazilian wandering spider
Remember those panicked reports of people finding deadly spiders-perhaps the deadliest on Earth-in bunches of bananas? Those reports referred to the Brazilian wandering spider, whose bite can cause severe burning, sweating, and goose bumps followed by high or low blood pressure, nausea, hypothermia, blurred vision, vertigo, and convulsions.
The Guinness Book of World Records considers the Brazilian wandering spider the most venomous in the world. Hundreds of bites are reported annually, but a powerful anti-venom prevents deaths in most cases.
Credit: Shutterstock via LiveScience
2. Redback spider
Look familiar? This is Australia's answer to a black widow, the redback spider.
Like black widows, only the female redback is considered worthy of your fear ... or maybe just respect from a distance. Up to 10,000 people are bitten by these critters in Australia every year.
Credit: Getty Images
Redback spider: Quick killers
Deaths from untreated bites are rare, but roughly one-third of bite victims suffer from some sort of negative effect, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal or chest pain and hypertension, and infants can die within hours of being bitten. One woman reportedly died five minutes after being bitten in the neck.
Credit: Getty Images
1. Funnel web spider
The venom from this spider is packed with at least 40 different toxic proteins, which can overload the body's nervous system and reportedly kill someone in minutes.
"With a funnel web bite to the torso, you're dead," Dr. Robert Raven of the Queensland Museum has said. "No other spider can claim that reputation."
Credit: Getty Images
Funnel web: No match for modern meds
That said, there's probably no need to panic if you come face-to-face with one of these; due to advances in anti-venom, there has been no death from a funnel web bite in Australia since the 1980s.