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Daddy Longlegs In Laos May Be Biggest Spider Species Ever



FRANKFURT - German scientists discovered what may be the world’s biggest spider species in a limestone cave in Laos, the Hamburger Abendblattreports.

Researchers from the Senckenberg Institut in Frankfurt, biodiversity specialists, reported that they found a spider with legs that span 33 cm (13 inches). The largest spider ever found, an Amazon species, measured 34 cm. The Laos spider is a “Daddy Longlegs” with spindly legs and a small body, and is not considered dangerous to humans.

Southern Laos seem to produce especially large creepy-crawlies, said Dr. Peter Jäger, a spider specialist at the Institut who was exploring the cave in his spare time from working on a television series.

Other species from these caves include giant crab spiders up to 30 cm (12 inches) wide, a scorpion 26 cm (10 inches) long, and a centipede almost 40 cm long (16 inches). The reason for this gigantism in the limestone caves is unclear, Jäger said.

(NOTE TO READERS: For those who clicked on the story to see a scary spider photo, our apologies. But here's a video to make it up to you...)

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How Gen Z Is Breaking Europe's Eternal Alcohol Habit

Young people across Europe are drinking less, which is driving a boom in non-alcoholic alternatives, and the emergence of new, more complex markets.

photo of a beer half full on a bar

German beer, half-full?

Katarzyna Skiba

Updated Dec. 6, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

PARIS — From Irish whisky to French wine to German beer, Europe has long been known for alcohol consumption. Of the top 10 countries for drinking, nine are in the European Union, according to the World Health Organization.

✉️ You can receive our Bon Vivant selection of fresh reads on international culture, food & travel directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

But that may be starting to change, especially among Gen Z Europeans, who are increasingly drinking less or opting out entirely, out of concern for their health or problematic alcohol use. A recent French study found the proportion of 17-year-olds who have never consumed alcohol has multiplied, from less than 5% to nearly 20% over the past two decades.

The alcohol-free trend is propping up new markets for low- or zero-alcoholic beverages, including in one of Europe’s beer capitals: Germany.

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