Few people will be surprised to learn that fear of spiders is one of the most common among people. After all, these mysterious creatures are so similar to us. Perhaps irrational fear comes from ancestors. After a bite of a spider in ancient times markedly reduced the chances of survival.
Yes, and the appearance of these arthropods for many simply unpleasant. In total, the detachment includes 42 thousand species, which are distributed everywhere. Almost all spiders are predators.
Despite all the dislike for spiders, often people are guided by myths, not by sound mind. In the end, these false beliefs give rise to even greater fear. Is not it time to debunk the main myths and misconceptions about spiders?
All spiders weave a web.
For us it seems natural that spiders have eight paws, they eat flies and catch prey with the help of cobwebs. In fact, only half of the detachment’s representatives are able to catch such a catch. Other spiders prefer active hunting. For example, wolf spiders pursue their prey, like other animals. But the spiders traps create special holes with hatches, where they hide. As soon as the vibrations of the signal strings let you know about the approach of the prey, the creatures immediately jump out of the ambush and grab the victim. Other spiders do not weave cobwebs, but shoot it or immediately into prey, immobilizing it, or even throwing it into the air to let it fly freely, or maybe someone caught it. People believed that all spiders are croaking webs, as this light grid can be found much more often than a spider that will attack a man, shooting a cobweb in it.
All spiders are predators.
In this rule there is a single exception – a spider-horse. These creatures live on acacias and feed on plants. Their food is Belt’s calf on the tip of the acacia leaves, as well as nectar. And only in times of drought such spiders can eat each other.
The spiders have 8 paws.
It is these spiders that differ from insects, which have 6 paws. However, a considerable amount – up to 10% exists without one or two paws. After all, the life of a spider is not easy, so that losses can not be avoided. Scientists say that for a comfortable existence, spiders lack six paws, two other nature gave them as if in reserve. Even in the absence of a pair of limbs, the spider remains as viable.
Spiders can nest in the person’s head.
This myth in our time is not so popular, although in the 1950s many people believed in it. After all, then a curious hairstyle in the form of a cocoon or a hive came into fashion. They were so complex that they could hardly give in to care and washing. People began to believe that in such a cozy place spiders would be happy to build their house. In fact, spiders do not like to live in human hair. Most of them are too large to move comfortably. And hairstyles-hives will make the task of moving even more difficult. After all, the accumulation of hair is present in one place. Yes, and hair is constantly scattered, that the spiders do not add comfort.
Spiders never get into their own networks.
This assumption seems logical, because in webs we usually see flies, but not spiders. It seems that they have some kind of immunity to their own stickiness. In fact, spiders do not have this quality. They just move extremely carefully along the net to avoid getting stuck there. And contrary to another myth, not all the web is sticky. Some networks have small scattered drops of glue. As a result, spiders simply do not step on them, realizing the danger. Scientists suggest that they help not to fall into their own traps, and also the unique design of the spider’s legs. Either of them is allocated a special liquid that dissolves the glue, or whether there is a special device. In general, spiders perfectly know the structure of their labyrinth, which threads are dry, and which are sticky, choosing the best route.
It’s better not to kill a house spider, but just throw it out on the street.
What is the first reaction of a person who saw a spider’s house? Kill him with a newspaper! True, there are more merciful people who gently take a spider and take it out into the street. From this step, it seems, everyone will benefit – a person will get rid of a dangerous creature, and the spider will return to its natural environment. In fact, most likely an arthropod animal will simply freeze. After all, most of these spiders spent their whole lives in the room, they simply did not adapt to living outdoors. This is especially true for Europe. Although people are afraid of any species of spiders living in the creature’s house for us are harmless. They can not even bite the skin. So with the good intentions of the spider, you can simply kill it more subtly.
Spiders can lay eggs under the human skin.
There is a legend about a man who was bitten by a spider in an exotic country. Returning home, the traveler discovered how the place of the bite began to swell, as a result, many small spiders burst out from there. True, scary? In fact, there is nothing in common with reality in this legend. Some other creatures, such as wasps, can actually lay eggs inside other animals. But spiders have no means to achieve such a goal. Not only do they in principle do not have the necessary facilities for placing their offspring in humans, so also the choice of a place for storing eggs is very scrupulous. Spiders prefer secluded and sheltered places, where offspring will not be threatened. Placing eggs under human skin would mean the death of spiders immediately after hatching – who would tolerate this?
At a distance of a meter from us, of course, there is some spider.
This myth was spawned by the archaeologist Norman Platnik, who in 1995 stated in his article that “wherever a person is a few meters away, probably there will be some spider.” Although it’s hard to even imagine how many spiders live in the world, it’s absurd to assume that you can not lie down or go a few steps to not be in their company. People took such a statement as a fact, and now they speculate on this. Yes, and “a few meters” has been changed to “meter”, and the word probably was dropped. In 2001, this statement was already quoted in the books as a fact.
The females of the “Black widows” eat their males.
This opinion of reality does not correspond. Most likely the reason is the misinterpretation of what is happening. It is believed that female spiders “black widow” really eat their males. So there was even the term “black widow”, which refers to an extremely suspicious or evil woman. In fact, if this happens, it is not so often as it seems. First of all, “black widows” are several varieties, and only some of them are consumed by relatives. And in this case, this happens as a result of hunger, which is a good excuse for them. Male black widow is much smaller than females – almost 4 times. When pairing, spiders are very close to the mouth of a hungry female. Avoiding temptation is quite difficult, but it is possible. Thus, an insignificant fact was much more famous than it should be. Other habits of spiders, sometimes even more repulsive, have remained behind the scenes in popular culture.
Every year a person unintentionally swallows several spiders.
This is another statement in which many people believe. To refute it from a scientific point of view is rather difficult. And this myth was born thanks to Lisa Canvas. She decided to prove that people are ready to believe in everything printed on the Internet. That’s why she sent many false facts to her friends by e-mail. The story of swallowing spiders became her pride – they believed her most. Lisa found this story in a book called “Facts and legends about insects.” However, swallowing spiders is just a fictional story. People are ready to believe in any terrible story, she quickly dispersed on the Internet.
The most poisonous spider is the haymaker.
This myth is supplemented by the soothing fact that the spider can not bite the skin of a person. In fact, it is worth noting that there is no real haymaker, there are many different creatures united by that name. Some of them are generally insects, not spiders and certainly not poisonous. The same spider that carries such a name is harmless to humans. “Destroyers of the Legends” even made an experience – the tester’s hand was bitten, but the person felt only a weak and rapid burning. Yes, and analysis of the poison showed that the “black widow” is stronger.
There are huge camel spiders.
Around the creatures that live in the deserts, there are real legends. And all the fault of the message on the Internet, which announced the discovery of the Iraqi camel spider. It is said that it reaches 30 centimeters in length, can live in the stomachs of camels, run at speeds up to 40 km / h, and produce a loud noise. Naturally, there are myths about the extremely virulent camel spiders, allegedly because of this even killed one of the peacekeepers in Iraq. In fact, these creatures are phalanxes, representatives of the arachnids, but not spiders. They rarely grow more than 14 centimeters and can not run faster than 10 miles per hour. And certainly all that is attributed to them, is a myth. Nevertheless, meeting with such creatures in the desert will be terrible.
Spiders are such insects.
Do not confuse spiders with insects. Spiders are a detachment in the class of arachnids from a detachment of arthropods. The same group includes a class of insects.
Scorpions are spiders.
And in this case it is worth sharing spiders and scorpions. Both those and those are separate detachments from the class of arachnids.
Spiders are generally not dangerous to humans.
This statement is true for most spiders, but not for everyone. Indeed, the fangs of these creatures are small, which is not enough to bite the skin. However, larger representatives, such as tarantulas, may well damage human health and even kill it.
Spiders suck the juices out of their prey.
This is a pretty popular myth, but do not consider spiders as some kind of vampires. In fact, they just eat small and hard particles of the victim’s body. Spiders are generally unique in that their digestion process can begin outside their body. Often we see how a spider bites its prey and wraps it in a web. After the victim’s death, the hunter proceeds to a meal. At first the spider will literally pour out its digestive fluid on its prey. Then it is chewed by jaws, and the received liquid is pulled back into the mouth. There goes also a little processed weight of a body of a victim. As necessary, this process is repeated, as a result, the spider eats everything, except for completely inedible and hard parts. Spiders usually eat the body itself, but they refuse from the wings and paws. Those hunters whose weak jaws (spiders-weavers or crab spiders) prefer a different diet. They make small holes in the body of their prey and inject their digestive fluid through them. When she dissolves in herself all the insides and muscles, the spider will suck it back
A spider can bite a person while he is sleeping.
Even the most aggressive spiders do not attack first, so you do not have to worry about sleeping person.
Spiders carry an infection on their fangs.
Unlike ticks, spiders do not have contact with blood, so it is impossible to get infected with harmful microbes.
Tarantula spiders do eat birds.
Theoretically, of course, one can assume that such an adult and a large spider will want to eat a chick or a small bird. But in fact, the main food is still different invertebrates, as well as insects. And the name got to spiders purely by chance. One of the scientists who studied the nature of America, somehow saw a spider eating a hummingbird. In fact, this phenomenon is rather rare. An engraving depicting this process was sent to Europe.People quickly spread the sensational news – there are tarantula spiders! A single fact became the basis for the myth, a man believed that such spiders only feed on birds.