Camel spiders became an Internet sensation during the Iraq war of 2003, when rumors of their bloodthirsty nature began to circulate online. Many tales were accompanied with photos purporting to show spiders half the size of a human.
For many years, Middle Eastern rumors have painted camel spiders as large, venomous predators, as fast as a running human, with a voracious appetite for large mammals. The myths are untrue. These creatures do not actually eat camels' stomachs or sleeping soldiers, and they are not so large—but the real camel spider is still an amazing predator.
The camel spider's history of misinformation begins with a misidentification. Camel spiders are not even spiders. Like spiders, they are members of the class Arachnida, but they