Of all the myriad creepy crawlies of the pest kingdom, none capture the imagination quite like spiders. It’s not hard to see why: those things are weird. Eight legs? Check. Eight eyes. Check. Butts that produce super-powerful silk? Check. Often breathtaking artistic talent? Check check check. There’s a reason why the spider is one of the most popularly depicted creatures in human culture throughout history. Something about the pest-munching arachnids simply fascinates.
Just because it’s our job to keep spiders out of your home doesn’t mean we’re immune to the fascination. If anything, our research into what makes spiders tick only makes them more captivating to us. Now, we’re sharing eight of our favorites with you–one for each of our favorite arachnid’s legs. These are the top 8 weirdest, wildest facts we’ve found about spiders.
8. Closer Than You Think
You are, on average, never more than 10 feet away from a spider. Ever. The earth contains an average of 1 million spiders per acre of land.
7. Blue Bloods
Spider blood is blue, because the oxygen in spider bloodstreams is bound to a chemical called hemocyanin.
Where oxygen in human blood is bound to the iron-containing hemoglobin, Hemocyanin contains copper. The copper in hemocyanin gives it a blue tint, instead of the usual red tint of hemoglobin.
6. Spinning Seven Separate Spider Silks
The spider silk spiders use to create webs is actually liquid when it’s stored inside the spider’s body. Spider silk hardens into a solid form immediately after leaving the spider’s glands and coming into contact with air.
Spiders have several different silk glands, which all produce different types of silk. Each of the different silks have a different purpose in web-building or navigation. Some spiders have as many as seven different types of silk-producing glands.
5. …In a Single Bound!
Jumping spiders can leap many times their own body length. One species, the dendryphantes rudis, can cover distances of over 40 times their own body length in a single leap.
Jumping spiders leap by contracting the muscles in their abdomen and forcing a special liquid into their legs. This liquid forces the legs to suddenly straighten, catapulting the spider forward.
4. Super Strong and Super Stretchy
Spider silk is one of the strongest substances on earth relative to its thickness and elasticity. A strand of spider’s silk is five times stronger than an equivalent strand of steel. A strand of spider silk as thick as a pencil could stop a 747 in flight!
Scientists are still working on ways to reproduce spider silk synthetically. The strongest spider silk, spun by the Darwin bark spider, is 10 times stronger than kevlar. It is the strongest known material made by a living organism.
3. Sensitive Artists
The composition, design, and pattern of spider webs may be affected by minute changes to the spinner’s body chemicals. Some scientists even believe that spiders’ web-building behavior is affected by airborne chemicals and pollutants.
Injecting different drugs, such as caffeine and LSD, into spiders had noticeable effects on their web building.
2. Can’t Stomach It
Spiders do not have teeth and do not chew their prey to eat. Instead, spiders are the only species that essentially digest their food outside their bodies.
Spiders inject their food sources with a digestive juices that liquify the prey. When the food is sufficiently broken down, they suck it up like a liquid through their fang-like mouthparts.
1. The Original Power Lines
Spider webs are sticky because of almost-microscopically small glue droplets the spider deposits along them. These glue droplets are electrically-charged, and actually react to the presence of nearby prey by “leaping” toward it, so that webs actually “spring” toward prey to entrap it.
Scientists have even proven that glue droplet deposits subtly distort the Earth’s electrical field!
Yeah, in case you didn’t figure it out, we think spiders are pretty darn cool. We’re also sympathetic to those of you who are… less enthused by them. After all, for as fun as spiders are to learn about, they’re considerably less fun to run into unexpectedly. Especially in your home.
If you ever have a spider infestation you’re worried about, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We did all this spider research for a reason after all–and it’s not (just) because we think spiders are awesome. We can get spiders out of your home permanently. Then you can learn all about them in the best way possible–from a safe distance.BACK TO BLOG