Phil Torres, a biologist and science educator, was leading one of his tours of the Peruvian rainforest when he discovered a spider … being controlled by another spider. It turns out that this possibly new species of the spider genus Cyclosa has taken the creepy in creepy crawly to the next level: puppetry.
Cyclosa spiders are known for making decoys in their webs using leaves, egg sacs and dirt. This one, however, actually crafts a full spider body — legs and all — out of the materials and uses web threads to make them move. Torres discovered 25 of them along the trail alone, with varying degrees of realism. (One of the spiders is experiencing a Cubist period.)
What’s most notable about the decoys is their size and placement. The decoys are nearly twice the size of the actual puppetmaster spiders, and they’re positioned at about human face-height. It’s clear that these compensatory analogues are meant for us humans, as if spiders weren’t terrifying enough.