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Few will be surprised to learn that the fear of spiders is one of the most common among humans. After all, a spider bite in ancient times significantly reduced the chances of survival.
And the appearance of these arthropods is simply unpleasant for many. Almost all spiders are predators.
Despite all the dislike for spiders, often a person is guided by myths, and not common reason. Isn't it time to debunk the main myths and misconceptions about spiders?
All spiders weave webs. It seems natural to us that spiders have eight legs, they eat flies and catch their prey with the help of their cobwebs. In fact, this method of catching prey is inherent in only half of the representatives of the detachment. Other spiders prefer active hunting. For example, wolf spiders stalk their prey just like other animals. But trapdor spiders build special holes with hatches, where they hide. As soon as the vibrations of the signal threads let you know about the approach of prey, the creatures immediately jump out of the ambush and grab the victim. Other spiders do not weave a web, but shoot it either directly at the prey, immobilizing it, or even throw it into the air so that it can fly freely, or maybe it can catch someone. People believed that all spiders make webs, since this light mesh can be found much more often than a spider that will attack a person by shooting a web at him.
All spiders are predators. There is one exception to this rule - the jumping spider. These creatures live on acacias and feed on plants. Their food is Belt's calf on the tip of acacia leaves, as well as nectar. And only in times of drought can such spiders eat each other.
Spiders have 8 legs. It is in this that spiders differ from insects, which have 6 legs. However, a considerable number - up to 10% exist without one or two paws. After all, the life of a spider is not easy, so losses cannot be avoided. Scientists say that six paws are enough for spiders to live comfortably, the other two are given by nature as if in reserve. Even in the absence of a pair of limbs, the spider remains as viable.
Spiders can build nests in a person's head. This myth is no longer so popular in our time, although in the 1950s many believed in it. After all, then lush hairstyles in the form of a cocoon or a beehive came into fashion. They were so complex that they were difficult to clean and clean. So people began to believe that in such a cozy place spiders would be happy to build their home. In fact, spiders don't like to live in human hair. Most are too large to move around comfortably. And hive hairstyles will make the task of moving even more difficult. After all, the accumulation of hair is present in one place. And the hair is constantly flying apart, which does not add comfort to the spiders.
Spiders never get caught in their own webs. This assumption seems logical, because in the cobwebs we usually see flies, but not spiders. They seem to have some kind of immunity to their own stickiness. In fact, spiders do not have this quality. They simply move very carefully along the net to avoid getting stuck there. And contrary to another myth, not all cobwebs are sticky. Some nets have small scattered beads of glue. As a result, spiders simply do not step on them, realizing all the danger. Scientists suggest that the unique design of the spider's legs also helps to avoid falling into their own traps. Either a special liquid is released from them, which dissolves the glue, or there is a special device here. In general, spiders know perfectly well the structure of their labyrinth, which threads are dry and which ones are sticky, choosing the best route.
It is better not to kill a domestic spider, but simply throw it out into the street. What is the first reaction of a person who sees a spider at home? Kill him with the newspaper! True, there are more merciful people who carefully take a spider and take it out into the street. It seems that everyone will benefit from such a step - the person will get rid of the dangerous creature, and the spider will return to its natural environment. In fact, most likely the arthropod animal will simply freeze. After all, most of these spiders have spent their entire lives indoors, they are simply not adapted to life in the open air. This is especially true for Europe. Although people are afraid of any species of spiders, the creatures living in the house are harmless to us. They can't even bite through the skin. So with the good intentions of the spider, you can simply kill more sophisticatedly.
Spiders can lay eggs under 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 bite site began to swell, and as a result, many small spiders escaped from there. Isn't it scary? In fact, this legend has nothing to do with reality. Some other creatures, like wasps, can actually lay eggs inside other animals. But spiders simply do not have the means to achieve such a goal. Not only do they, in principle, do not have the necessary capabilities to accommodate their offspring in a person, but also the choice of a place for storing eggs is very scrupulous. Spiders prefer secluded and protected places where nothing will threaten the offspring. Placing eggs under human skin would mean the death of spiders immediately after hatching - who would tolerate that?
There is certainly a spider at a distance of a meter from us. This myth originated in archaeologist Norman Platnik, who in 1995 stated in his article that "wherever a person is at a distance of several meters from him, there will probably be some kind of spider." Although it is difficult to even imagine how many spiders live in the world, it is ridiculous to assume that you cannot lie down or walk a few steps in order not to be in their company. People took such a statement as a fact, and now they are speculating on it. Yes, and "a few meters" was changed to "meter", and the word was probably dropped altogether. In 2001, this statement was already cited in books as a fact.
The females of the "Black Widows" eat their males. This opinion does not correspond to reality. Most likely the reason is a misinterpretation of what is happening. It is believed that female black widow spiders do eat their males. So even the term "black widow" appeared, which refers to an extremely suspicious or angry woman. In fact, if this happens, it is not at all as often as it seems. First of all, "black widows" - several species, and only a few of them are engaged in eating congeners. And in this case, this happens as a result of hunger, which is a good excuse for them. Males of the black widow are much smaller than females - almost 4 times. When mating, spiders are very close to the mouth of a hungry female. Avoiding temptation is difficult, but possible. Thus, the insignificant fact received far more fame than it should have. Other habits of spiders, sometimes even more repulsive, remained behind the scenes in popular culture.
Each year, a person unintentionally swallows several spiders. This is another statement that many people believe in. It is quite difficult to refute it from a scientific point of view. And this myth was born thanks to Lisa Holst. She decided to prove that people are ready to believe everything that is published on the Internet. That is why she emailed her acquaintances with a lot of fake facts. The story about swallowing spiders became her pride - they believed in her the most. Lisa found this story in a book called Insect Facts and Legends. However, swallowing spiders is precisely a fictional story. People are ready to believe in any scary story, it quickly spread on the Internet.
The most poisonous spider is the haymaker. This myth is complemented by the calming fact that a spider cannot bite through human skin. In fact, it is worth noting that there is no real haymaker, there are many different creatures united by such a name. Some of them are generally insects, not spiders, and certainly not poisonous. The same spider that bears this name is harmless to humans. "Mythbusters" even made an experiment - the hand of the tester was bitten, but the person felt only a weak and quick burning sensation. And the analysis of the poison showed that the "black widow" has it stronger.
There are huge camel spiders. There are true legends around the creatures that live in the deserts. And the blame for all the messages on the Internet, which announced the discovery of the Iraqi camel spider. They say that it reaches 30 centimeters in length, can live in the stomachs of camels, run at speeds up to 40 km / h, and make a loud noise at the same time. Naturally, there are myths about the extremely venomousness of camel spiders, allegedly because of this even one of the peacekeepers in Iraq died. In fact, these creatures are phalanxes, representatives of the arachnid family, but not spiders. They rarely grow over 14 centimeters long and cannot run faster than 10 miles per hour. And certainly everything that is attributed to them is a myth. Nevertheless, meeting such creatures in the desert will be terrible.
Spiders are such insects. Do not confuse spiders with insects. Spiders are an order in the class of arachnids from the order of arthropods. The same order includes the class of insects.
Scorpios are spiders. And in this case, it is worth distinguishing between spiders and scorpions. Both those and those are separate orders from the class of arachnids.
Spiders are generally harmless to humans. This is true for most spiders, but not all. Indeed, the fangs of these creatures are small, which is not enough to bite through the skin. However, larger representatives, such as tarantulas, may well harm human health and even kill him.
Spiders suck juices from their prey. This is a fairly popular myth, but you shouldn't consider spiders to be some kind of vampire. 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 of their own body. We often see a spider bite its prey and wrap it in a web. After the death of the victim, the hunter proceeds to the meal. First, the spider will literally pour out its digestive fluid on its prey. Then it is chewed with the jaws, and the resulting liquid is drawn back into the mouth. Some of the victim's processed weight is also sent there. As necessary, this process is repeated, as a result, the spider eats everything, except for the completely inedible and hard parts. Spiders usually eat the body itself, but refuse wings and paws. Those hunters with weak jaws (weaver spiders or crab spiders) prefer a different diet. They make small holes in the body of their victim and inject their digestive fluid through them. When she dissolves in herself all the insides and muscles, the spider will suck her back
A spider can bite a person while he is sleeping. Even the most aggressive spiders do not attack first, so a sleeping person need not worry.
Spiders carry infections on their canines. Unlike ticks, spiders do not have contact with human blood, therefore, harmful microbes cannot be infected from them.
Tarantula spiders do eat birds. Purely theoretically, of course, it is possible to assume that such an adult and large spider wants to eat a chick or a small bird. But in fact, the main food is still various invertebrates, as well as insects. And the name was given to spiders purely by accident. One of the scientists who studied the nature of America once saw a spider eating a hummingbird. In fact, this phenomenon is quite 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 person believed that such spiders only feed on birds.