Scary Costa Rica Creepy and scary creatures in Costa Rica Sat, 01 Jun 2013 21:10:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 30565982 Wandering Spider Sat, 17 Dec 2011 18:34:33 +0000 One of the scariest and most aggressive creatures in Costa Rica is known as the “Brazilian Wandering Spider” (photo above). The scientific name of this genus is Phoneutria, which is Greek for “murderess”, and there are eight known species.

When I visited the insect museum in Monteverde, the experts there told me that there were no dangerous spiders in Costa Rica. My friend Arlo, who has a PhD in Bug-ology, also confirmed that Costa Rica doesn’t have this species. However, when he saw the proof of my first video (the first video below) he changed his mind!

Often listed as one of the most venomous creatures in the world (, it turns out that this spider (the star of the movie “Arachnophobia”) lives not just in Brazil, but ranges all the way up into northern Costa Rica.

The venom of this spider has been tested and proven to be the only spider poison more deadly, drop per drop, than the black widow. And, it’s about 100 times the size. In Brazil, many deaths are reported every year from this spider.

Its neuro-toxic bite will cause intense pain, as well as difficulty in breathing, loss of muscle control, paralysis, and then asphyxiation. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, then get this… the venom also causes priapism in men. Priapism is when a man gets an erection that doesn’t go away for hours, and if it lasts more than 4-5 hours, gangrene and rot will set into the effected “member” Boner scientists are apparently doing research with Phoneutria venom to find a new and improved recipe for Viagra, as reported in this article:

Spider Venom that Causes 4-hour Erections Could be the next Viagra

Video of when I first discovered that this spider lives in Costa Rica, when I didn’t know what it was:

Video of me catching another one:

Boa Constrictors of Costa Rica Sat, 17 Dec 2011 18:01:00 +0000 Boa Constrictor in Costa Rica

The Boa That Swallowed My Cat

Boas start out small and just keep growing until they are so big they can eat nearly anything in the jungle, including people.

They are relentless and incredibly patient predators. Once they get the scent of an animal, they will wait for weeks in hiding until the animal passes. They have almost no smell, so most creatures have no idea they are about to be attacked until they feel the grip of death as the coils of the boa wrap around them.

The teeth of a boa are incredibly sharp, and angled backwards, so that the more one pulls and struggles to get free, the deeper they penetrate. Once I was bitten by a boat and the teeth on both sides of its mouth penetrated my skin and came out the other side, like two rows of fishhooks.

AND as if that wasn’t bad enough, a boa’s mouth often has dangerous and poisonous bacteria!

Most of the large predators such as Jaguars and Pumas have been killed off in Costa Rica, so there’s nothing to prevent these snakes from growing to immense size to become true living monsters, terrorizing remote jungle villages.

Boas that Kill

Boas often kill people in the United States, and these are just small PETS… see the following story:

Pet Boa Kills Nebraska Man

This boa was only 8-9 feet long and 25 pounds, and killed a 34 year-old grown man in front of his girlfriend, who was unable to rescue him!

The photo of the boa that I took above, shows a 10-12 foot boat in my front yard that was at least three times the weight of the one that killed this Nebraska man. Lucky for us, this boa only ate our poor housecat that we had brought from the U.S., which was about 10 pounds.

The really scary part is that boas can grow MUCH larger than this, and frequently do in Costa Rica, and I know people, such as my friend Dagmar Spremberg who have woken up in the morning to find them inside their bedrooms, after slipping through a window at night.

Photo of giant boa taken in Manuel Antonio:  Giant Manuel Antonio Snake

Tarantula Sat, 17 Dec 2011 15:41:36 +0000 Tarantula in costa Rica

An object of fear throughout the world, the tarantula is the fuzziest of spiders, making it look larger. Normally slow-moving, they come out of their subterranean lairs to hunt at night, often crawling into people’s houses and sometimes their beds.

In addition to their poisonous fangs, they have an even worse defense mechanism, which is to throw hairs into the eyes and faces of anyone who bothers them. These hairs are incredibly itchy and stingy. If a tarantula stands up on its back legs, then watch out, it may be pissed off and ready to strike.

The venom of the tarantula is actually not very strong, and used mainly to immobilize small prey. Despite its fearsome appearance, it is one of the most docile of spiders and you can easily pick one up when found in the wild. They will not bite unless you really get them in a bad mood. Tarantulas make great pets, and you can order one here if you live in the United States: Buy a Tarantula.

The photo shown here was a wild tarantula that we caught at the hotel, and our yoga instructor Mandy let it crawl across here face! Very brave woman!

Tarantulas can be found on the roads at night in Costa Rica, but they’re difficult to catch at night. I believe it’s because their eyes are accustomed to the dark and they see very well, and run quickly when approached. But during the day they seem to be nearly blind, and so they generally walk slowly and behave in a much more tranquil manner.

Here’s a video of me catching and holding one, which I released in our garden at Rancho Delicioso to help with pest control: