Most people aren’t sad when a spider dies. But scientists aren’t most people.
Australian scientists are in mourning today following the report that a spider they had been observing died at 43. It is the oldest a spider has ever lived. Number 16, a trapdoor spider, was born in the wild in 1974, probably with a bunch of brothers and sisters. It was the subject of scientific observation for so long because it lived in the same burrow its entire life. Researchers, and this is true, have expressed sadness at Number 16’s passing.
Fellow spiders said Number 16 always thought he was being watched, until he couldn’t take the stress anymore and killed himself.
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.
Construction has been halted on a highway underpass that would have resolved traffic congestion in San Antonio, Tex. Why did workers stop digging? Because somebody saw a spider.
Animals have borrowed a page from the U.S. Civil War, tying up Southern transportation lines with the only weapon at their disposal: the heebie-jeebies. Good luck getting anyone to shovel dirt when any trowel-full could lead to an underground spider cave.
The spider, a Braken Bat Cave meshweaver, is an endangered species that hasn’t been seen since it was first discovered 30 years ago. It’s blind, so that means it finds its way around by touching everything with its disgusting, spindly legs and mouth parts.
What we need now is an anti-environmental judge with a really big shoe to get roadwork started again.
Congratulations! It’s been a long-time coming, but science has finally found something in Oregon that can officially top hipsters and free-range everything as the worst things to come from the state: a new spider.
“There are no killer spiders in the area” is what’s being tossed around by supposed “experts.”
Both Dr Saikia and Chetia said there was no evidence of any spider species in Assam and the Northeast which could cause human deaths. “There is no evidence of any such spider in the region whose bite could lead to human death,” Dr Saikia said.
Any spider that’s alive is prove against that theory. Because if they could, they would eat you in a heartbeat.
We know that you hate the rest of the world. That’s all fine and dandy. Nonetheless, stop trying to create robotic death machines in the shape of animals. Everyone knows that you’re totally teaming up with the animals in a bid to kill us all. Now you’re just totally refusing to even be subtle about it.
It’s not just the deception that hurts, but look what’s been sitting in there this whole time:
11 million-year-old rats
Spiders with foot long(!) legspans
Hot pink cyanide-producingdragon millipedes
Bright green pit vipers
It’s like you’re trying to hide the worst from us.
Fortunately, the people of the Mekong are trying to help clean up your mess.
“There are cultural obstacles to protecting rare species, too. Many restaurants serve them as food. Restaurants often have rickety bamboo floors that one can look through to see cages filled with exotic animals, [Dekila] Chungyalpa [, Director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Mekong Program,] says. The more exotic the animal, the more status it often bestows on the person who consumes it.”
Until you prove that you’re trustworthy, we’re afraid that we cannot give you nice things anymore. Now get back to work. We don’t want to see you until dinner. (It’s Ocelot Helper Night.)