I may never go camping near the Missouri River again after some stories have been shared about huge arachnids that apparently also call that area home. Several Missouri fishermen swear it's not an exaggeration or far-fetched tale, but what they really saw with their own eyes.

If you ask the Missouri Department of Conservation, they will tell you the largest known spider in the state is a wolf spider. They're large, some as big as a few inches, but relatively harmless. This is something completely different. Here's an exact quote from a Missouri fisherman who shared his story with the Unexplained Mysteries YouTube channel.

"I'm lucky to go fishing almost every weekend so I know what type of animals live around here...it was around noon when I sat down to smoke when I heard dry leaves moving to the left. I turned my head to where I heard the noise to see a huge long pair of hairy legs grabbing my canteen I just placed there a few seconds ago..."

The encounter didn't last long, but he recognized that he had seen a spider who's size he had never known before. He's frustrated because few of his friends believe him. He's not alone in his belief that the state has larger spiders than are recorded. This was the testimony of a commenter on YouTube:

"I'm from Missouri and I'm telling you, we have some of the biggest, hairiest, nastiest, most aggressive spiders outside of the Amazon. I have no idea why, but they're definitely there."

Another guy said "I'm from Joplin...When I was a child (7-8) I was running around in the back woods of our 150 acres, I happened upon a tree with a large hole and a huge single web. Not many little ones together, but one giant web connecting the tree to the ground to the hole...Well I poked the web with a thin tree branch, the damn spider came out it was the size of my head".

What in the world are these spiders in Missouri? Does a species that dwarfs a wolf spider really exist near the Missouri River in the state? Or, have our imaginations gotten the best of us late at night in the backcountry?

There are too many stories for this to be just exaggerated Show Me State tales. I think I'm done leaving my sleeping bag on the ground next time I'm camping though.

Simulation Shows the Terror of a 7.7 New Madrid Quake in Missouri

Gallery Credit: EarthquakeSim via YouTube