A helium balloon fitted with six telescopes is currently floating over Antarctica. It's called SPIDER, and it could show what happened during the Big Bang. Scientists will use it to search for patterns of polarization that could have only been made in primordial light in the fractions of seconds after the birth of the…
There are more than 5000 species of jumping spider. This one, spotted in an Ecuadorian reserve by zoologist Wayne Maddison is both fascinating and terrifying.
Remember the time NASA sent some humans into space with a lunar module and had them photograph it from low-Earth orbit?
Its quick-digging antics are kind of endearing (I could watch it toss sand on its head pretty much all day.) At least, until you realize that this six-eyed sand spider is only covering itself so that it can better ambush unsuspecting prey.
Seriously. It's not. And no, it's not an image of an ant, either. In fact, the creature you see pictured up top isn't even an insect. Can you guess what it is? Here's a hint: count the legs.
Up close, spiders look like scary alien creatures ready to devour any mammals who dare cross their mandibles. Up extremely close, however, a spider's skin is richly textured, with spiky hairs that resemble industrial towers rising from the landscape.
For many male spiders, having sex means surrendering one or both of their genitals. In some species, up to 75% of males will experience what's known as sexual cannibalism. But this castration carries an advantage: the males become fearsome warriors.
Adanson's jumping spider has eight eyes, but the way they're put together doesn't actually seem that useful for, well, seeing things. These spiders use a previously unknown trick to judge their surrounds and leap great distances...all thanks to blurry vision.
Spider sex carries a very definite danger for male arachnids: genital loss. Spiders can actually lose their reproductive organs during intercourse, turning them into spider eunuchs. But, unlike humans, this "castration" actually turns the spiders into even more aggressive fighters.
Spiders aren't generally thought of as particularly smart creatures, but some spiders' brains are literally too big for their heads. It seems that no matter how big or small a spider's body is, its brain is always the same size.
It's easy to think of old age as a uniquely human phenomenon, and there's a certain amount of truth to that - most species die before they can experience the physical or mental deterioration often associated with growing older.
Several kinds of female animals, including spiders, are known to devour their male counterparts, often right after they finish having sex. But every so often, the female isn't deadlier than the male, as South America's wolf spider will tell you.
Sure, spider venom can kill humans. But, if you know what you're doing, it can offer revolutionary cures and treatments for some of humanity's worst ailments. It's already curing impotence...and now help with heart failure, high blood pressure, and epilepsy.
The venom of the Brazilian wandering spider has some seriously nasty effects, causing victims to lose control of their muscles, slowly lose the ability to breathe...and, if the victim is male, get an erection that lasts longer than four hours.
Annalee is asking costumed fans roaming the halls of WonderCon one crucial question: How they would strip off their costumes if they had to get naked really, really fast? She found not but two of the most famous arachnid-based characters in the comic book world and asked them how they'd strip down in record time.…