Tag Archives: arachnophobia

Undead Spiders Survive Mass Drowning.

The author of BV, dear readers, is not happy. She is, in fact, deeply, deeply troubled. And all because what she is about to report confirms her deepest suspicions about order Araneae; spiders are, in fact, evil minions of  the undead sent to take over the world.  And let’s face it, with all due respect to the arachnophiles in the author’s aquaintence, they’re  just pretty damn creepy.

 

 

A reporter for National Geographic News  reported yesterday that spiders “drowned” in a lab “twitched back to life hours after ‘drowning.'” Yes indeed, dear readers (both of you), you read right.  The wolf spiders involved in the study “twitched back to life after drowning.”

 The researchers had only intended to see how long it would take spiders whose nests were subject to frequent seasonal flooding to drown, then leave the eight icky- little- legged corpses out to dry, so as to weigh them post-mortem. And so they did… but that, according to Nat Geo, “is when things began to get weird.”

Because once they had dried out, the spiders began twitching where they lay, eventually struggling effortfully back onto their eight icky little feet.

Researchers believe that these spiders instinctually enter comas in order to survive. The author of BV believes that they actually enter an alternate dimension in which they commune with the spirits of evil dead spiders, particularly those who have been variously flushed, washed, and hosed down drains in the human world, leading them to hold a grudge against the entire human species.

…But the spiders are not the only ghouls in this story: we should remember the University of Rennes (France) scientists (who from a certain angle resemble nothing so much as textbook sociopathic schoolboys)  immersed 120 spiders in water, “jostling the spiders with brushes every two hours to see if they responded.” All with the express purpose of seeing how long it took these spiders to die.  Just, you know, because they were curious.

Perhaps-just perhaps, and excluding the author of BV-some of us deserve to be bitten by evil undead spiders.

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Filed under backyard fauna, human behavior, Phobia-inducing, the strange and the beautiful, Uncategorized

Jumping Spiders (family Salticidae)*

 

This creature, which resembles a friendly member of the Muppets, is actually an agressive hunter.

This creature, which resembles a friendly member of the Muppets, is actually an agressive hunter.

There are as many as 5,000 species in family Salticidae, more than in any other family of spiders .  All the more fodder for arachnphobic catatonia.  In contrast to their numbers, of course,  is the size of individual members of family Salticidae, which average less than 2cm in length (though the females are typically larger than the males. Females are usually scarier anyway, if you ask for the author’s humble opinion).

Jumping spiders are agre3ssive little buggers: as  active rather than passive hunters, these  hunters jump by means of specialized internal hydraulics,  like little Gangstamobiles,  causing  their legs to extend forcefully and rapidly, propelling them into the air and across long distances. Characteristically, a jumping spider creeps towards its prey, crouches, inches its forelegs towards its target, and… (GULP!)  pounces,  covering distances as great as  30cm (one foot, and 15x its own body length). See figure B, below.

Were these facts not enough to secure the jumping spider’s place in B.V.’s  list of the most awe-inspiring and nightmare-inducing creatures, family Salticidae is also cannabalistic, often preying on their web-making spidey bretheren. Watch out, spiderman.
The jumping spider in action. The writer of B.V. will have arachnophobic dreams for weeks on the strength of this image.

figure B: The jumping spider in action. The writer will have arachnaphobic dreams for weeks on the strength of this image.

* NB: this installment of B.V. is dedicated to Lowly_Adjunct (aka. K.E.); oh you who perversly loves spiders, enjoy– this one’s for you.

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Filed under backyard fauna, Phobia-inducing, Uncategorized