Spiders scare tons of people and are considered the creepy crawlers that we don’t want to run into, but wouldn’t it be nice to learn some interesting facts about spiders? You should probably know all you can about something that creeps you out, so you can analyze how to defeat them! My fear of them actually made me more interested in them and now I’m always trying to find out new things about the way they live. Honestly they don’t scare me as much, which is why I’d like to share some of the interesting facts about spiders that I know with you guys. You can’t escape them; there’s always that one spider that decides the corner of your ceiling will become its new home, so you might as well learn a little about them.
1. They Fly
Spiders actually travel long distances by “flying,” or “ballooning,” which I think is one of the most interesting facts about spiders. Small spiders will stick their bums in the air and shoot out a line of silk, (which their web is made of), to be carried by the wind. Bigger species will shoot out several strands of silk over a yard long, then jump and let the strands carry them away. What’s so amazing about the process is that the wind doesn’t have to be blowing for them to be carried away. Some believe that their silk is somehow charged when they need to fly, which would explain them traveling so far and without bigger spiders' weights affecting their travel.
2. Some Hunt Their Prey
Except for one species of spider, the bagheera kiplingi, all spiders are carnivorous; meaning they eat other bugs, and if big enough, animals like mice and birds. But unlike a lot of spiders who build webs and trap other insects, some actually go out and hunt for their food. I saw a video once of a jumping spider that crouched, just as a lion would, and prepared to pounce on his prey. Pretty scary right? He then jumped from his sunflower to the sunflower that his meal was on and actually landed right on the fly’s back. So not only are some spiders jumpers, but the majority are vicious hunters.
3. Their Venom Breaks down Skin and Tissue
Since spiders don’t have jaws, or a digestive system big enough to hold solid food, they have venom. Their venom, which is passed from a bite, breaks down the skin and organs of their prey liquefying their insides. Once spiders bite their prey they wrap it in a bundle of web and wait for their venom to do its job so they can eat, or rather slurp up their meal. The same thing happens to us when we get bitten by the few species of spiders that are able to puncture human skin. The area they bite starts to break down and liquefy if it doesn’t get treated in time. Good thing we’re big enough to avoid being eaten by them, but they could be the cause of a lost limb.
4. Growth Can Be up to a Foot across
The biggest spiders in the world are the Goliath Birdeater and Giant Huntsman. The biggest recorded was the Huntsman with a leg span across of a foot long, but luckily for Americans, both of those spiders live in other countries. There have been numerous videos of people trying to capture or kill these spiders and it seems pretty impossible. They are quick and possess the same abilities as their smaller family members. Both Rob Dyrdek and Tom Bergeron have had videos of people trying to catch the Giant Huntsman, and in both videos the spider jumped on the person once they had gotten close enough to them.
5. There Are about 40,000 Species
This is why you can’t escape them! There are so many species of spiders and they hold a population everywhere except Antarctica. The biggest and most poisonous seem to live in countries far from the U.S., like Brazil and Laos. America still has the Brown Recluse and Black Widow though; both poisonous and known for their distinct markings. There are also several species of tarantulas, which have been brought over to the U.S. and are kept as pets. So if one went extinct there would be 39,000 species of spiders left. We should just move to Antarctica now!
6. They Lay up to 3,000 Eggs at a Time
If it isn’t bad enough that there are 40,000 species of spiders, they lay up to 3,000 eggs at a time. Depending on the species, a spider can have as few at 10 babies in a sac or up to 3,000 in more than one sac. At least they won’t all live though; in fact the majority of them won’t make it a day after leaving their sac. Species like the Wolf Spider actually protect their babies for a while after hatching, giving them a better chance at living their full life span.
7. They Swim
Spiders just might be the most intelligent bug ever, since they have fairly huge brains. The Diving Bell Spider can stay under water for an entire day, using oxygen bubbles that it stores in a self-made silk pouch. When it needs oxygen it just sucks some from its pouch, and when the pouch runs out, they return to land. So there’s definitely no avoiding spiders, but you probably won’t run into a Diving Bell or any other type of underwater spider unless you’re in a lake, ocean, or swampy area.
Even though you aren’t able to avoid spiders at least you now know a little about them. You can kind of figure out how they think and what not to do with dealing with them. For example don’t just run water and hope they will die after falling into the drain. They are strong enough to survive small amounts of water and will crawl back up. The next time you spot a spider will you examine it before you get rid of it?