Tarantulas have large, hairy bodies that make them the stuff of nightmares for many, but they look more threatening than they actually are. The mild venom of their bite is weaker than the average bee's, and causes little more pain than a wasp sting. There are hundreds of species of tarantula living in the world's tropical jungles and deserts. South America is home to some of the most sizeable species, such as the Goliath spiders that can have a leg span of 30cm. The name tarantula originates from the Italian town of Taranto.