Why Do Spiders Freak Us Out?
Why Do Spiders Freak Us Out?
Spiders are one of those things that have been long-standing nightmare fuel for many people, but why? What is it about all the legs and eyes that make us so uncomfortable? While we don’t want them in our homes, they can serve a purpose outside and perhaps we could take a second look to acknowledge some of the spider’s superpowers.
Spiders Are Hydraulic
This could be the thing that freaks us out the most about spiders. The way that spiders move is by forcing blood into their legs to extend them outward and by pulling blood back into their bodies to retract them inward. They do this by controlling their blood pressure in the cephalothorax. That’s the part in the middle of the spider where all of the legs come together.
Being able to control all eight legs like this means that spiders can move in a whole bunch of different ways. They can walk, run, jump, float, tumble, and even swim! It is perfectly sane to be freaked out by the ways these little guys move, but maybe take a second to realize how cool it is.
Spiders Are Great Hiders
This could be one of the biggest contributors to the idea that Spiders are terrible. There are over 40,000 known species of spider, but scientists believe that because they are so good at hiding, there’s really more like 200,000 different species. That is a crazy thought. Imagine anything that is so elusive that we have only ever found 20% of them!
Spiders Can Kill People
Spiders aren’t actually poisonous, they’re venomous; but regardless of terminology, some species can kill people. This might be the biggest fear we have associate with spiders. Some spider bites are very painful and some can cause serious damage to the skin and flesh. Before you get too scared, there are only an average of 6.6 people killed each year by spider bites in the United States. Both the deadliest spider and the largest spider in the world live in Australia.
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Spiders Are Super Smart
You may have seen the giant spiders featured in Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, but all the spiders we know of so far can’t talk. What they can do is listen. Spiders have the unique skill of a form of echolocation. Once a bug lands in a spider’s web, the spider can pinpoint the bug’s location based on the vibrations in the strands of the web. I don’t know about you, but something about this arachnid’s capability to hide in the shadows and then know exactly where I am is stomach turning.
Spiders Are Always the Bad Guys in Movies
Name the last movie you saw with the spider as the good guy. Lord of the Rings, Arachnophobia, Harry Potter, The Covenant, and even Little Miss Muffet all have spiders as the villain. I suppose the only redemption is Spider-Man, but even there, the spider was the bad guy who just so happened to give the good guy powers.
Spiders Are Good For Something...
Despite the fear factor, spiders serve a great purpose. They are the original pest control specialist. While they can be dangerous to humans in a very small number of cases, spiders eat insects. Not only do they eat the annoying bugs like mosquitos, but they also eat bugs that can be dangerous to plants and pets.
We know they are unsettling to see and way overused as a Halloween prop, but let’s agree to take a minute to appreciate the spider’s all around cool factor and superpowers.