1. Science

    “Spiderless” Arachnophobia Therapy Has Way More Rolling Chairs, Fewer Spiders

    If you're a chronic arachnophobic who's avoided seeking treatment because you dread the brutality of exposure therapy, it may be possible to cure your fear without meeting millions of creepy crawlies -- but you'll never see tripods the same way again.

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  2. Science

    Prepare Your Webshooters, Spider Silk Finally Ready for Commercial Production

    Like just about everyone, you've dreamed of swinging around like Spider-Man on your own webs while trying desperately not to think about how creepy that is. Well, now you... still probably shouldn't, because you don't have any super powers to help you out with it, but spider web may soon be a commercial material, so you're welcome to try.

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  3. Weird

    Man Gets Hideous Spider Tattoo On His Face To Overcome His Arachnophobia

    Like many of us--myself included--Eric Rico Ortiz is scared of spiders. Luckily, the 24 year old from Florida (shocker) devised an innovative way to force himself to overcome the common phobia: by getting a massive black widow tattooed on his right cheek.

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  4. Science

    Male Black Widows Must Dance For Their Mates To Remind Them They’re Not Food

    If you thought your relationship was grim, a recent study published in Frontiers of Zoology posits that male Black Widows must thrust their ''pelvises" repeatedly to remind their eight-legged mates not to eat them.

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  5. Science

    Spider-Man’s Web Slingshot Maneuver Is Used by Real Spiders to Catch Prey, It Seems Way Less Silly Now

    He does everything a spider can! Not to be outdone, spiders can do almost everything a Spider-Man can—including slingshotting themselves by stretching their webs way back. Don't worry; the ones who do this are pretty small and not too scary... for being spiders. To bugs and especially mosquitos, though, they're flying balls of webbed death.

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  6. Science

    Make It Count, Dude: Spider Species Dies After Having Sex

    I know the human dating game can seem rough at times, but the fact of the matter is, we have it pretty good. Don't believe me? Consider if you will the sorry state of Dolomedes tenebrosus, the dark fishing spider. A recent study of the spiders, common around the American midwest, found that males of the species get a grand total of one shot at breeding -- immediately after copulation, their work on this Earth done, the creatures promptly curl up and die.

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  7. Science

    Sanctuary for Giant Pandas Also Home to Newly Discovered Tiny Spiders

    One of the great things about setting aside land as a sanctuary for one creature is that it helps to preserve a whole ecosystem full of plants and animals -- some of which we may not even know exist yet. Take for example the two new species of spider -- both among the world's tiniest -- that were just discovered on the grounds of a panda sanctuary in southwest China. One of these little guys averages less than a millimeter across. You could eat, like, 50 of them in your sleep and never even know it!

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  8. Science

    Oh, God No: Colony-Dwelling Spiders Share Kills So Younger Siblings Grow Up Stronger

    For some species of social spiders, it seems the family that lives together, kills together. A recent study in the journal Animal Behavior shows that young spiders who live with alongside their older siblings grow up big and strong, at least in part because they're dining on the leftovers brought home by their older siblings.

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  9. Science

    Here’s A Horrific Scientific Survey Of 50 Bats Being Captured By Spiders

    Here's some nightmare fuel you could have gone the rest of your life without knowing: every continent except Antarctica hosts spiders so large, they can trap bats in their webs. That's according to a study released earlier this month in the open-access journal PLOS ONE that records in often gruesome detail 50 incidents of spiders ensnaring bats. In related news, who is moving to Antarctica with me right the hell now?

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  10. Science

    New Face-Sized Spider Found In Sri Lankan Hospital

    It's time to add Sri Lanka to the list of places I probably won't ever go, because a new species has been discovered there that's both face-sized and features far too many legs.  The new tarantula is named Poecilotheria rajaeia, belongs to the colorful, venomous tiger spider group, and was discovered lairing in an old hospital. Which in my book turns the creep factor up to 11.

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  11. Science

    Turns Out Spiders Are at Least Partly Responsible for Evolution of Butterflies

    Animals evolve for lots of reasons. Usually to improve methods of finding food, attracting mates, or escaping the notice of predators. We've all done it. Evolved, I mean. One vivid example is the butterfly, the world's most colorful insect. But those vibrant hues and crazy wing patterns were never for our benefit. Nope, they developed to deflect attackers, and we've been assuming since the days of Darwin that the perps were birds. Insect-devouring birds. But it turns out that it was probably the spawn of Ungoliant -- spiders -- who were the villains all this time. And not just any spiders -- jumping spiders! These eight-legged creeps are at least partially responsible for the adaptation of the butterfly.

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  12. Space

    Nefertiti the “Spidernaut” Dies Shortly After Returning From 100 Days in Space

    Ladies and gentlemen, today we mourn the loss of a real hero. With a lump in our throats and a tear in our eye, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History announced that their resident space-traveling red-backed jumping spider, Nefertiti, passed away yesterday, five days after returning from a 100-day and 42-million-mile journey to the International Space Station. We promised ourselves we wouldn't cry, but here come the waterworks.

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  13. Science

    Invasive Snakes Turning Guam Into Nightmarish Island of the Spiders

    Invasive species can be bad times pretty much anywhere, but nowhere do they cause so much trouble as an island. In the closed environment of an island, just a couple of out of place animals can utterly transform an entire ecosystem. Invasive brown tree snakes in Guam have devastated populations of native birds that once dined on the island's spiders. With those birds on the ropes, Guam's spiders have taken the run of the place. The result is an arachnid population boom so serious that gaps in the island's tree canopy are now regularly filled with enormous spiderwebs. For every one spider on neighboring islands not afflicted by tree snakes, Guam now hosts up to 40 of the creepy crawlers, turning Guam from a tropical island paradise to a snake and spider dominated horror show right out of every Dungeon Master's dreams.

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  14. Science

    Litany Against Fear Nailed It: Talking Through Emotions Can Reduce Fear Response

    A study from UCLA suggests that talking about your emotions when you're feeling afraid can lessen the impact of the fear response, proving once and for all that the Bene Gesserits were exactly right about how to deal with fear. As if there were any doubt. In a study of arachnophobes -- people with a perfectly reasonable fear of spiders, because, ugh, those legs -- researchers found that subjects who articulated what they were feeling when they were exposed to a tarantula had less fear of the spider, and were able to get closer to it and touch it more often than others who did not mention their fear of spiders during the experience.

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  15. Science

    Ants Have Sex With a Dying Queen While a Spider Eats Her [Video]

    Wildlife photographer Adrián Skippy Purkart captured one of nature's most beautiful moments: Winged male ants having sex with their dying queen while a spider eats her. The ants, Prenolepis nitens, are trying to make sweet, sweet dying love to their queen while she's busy getting eaten because she's still sending out chemical cues for, uh, for that kind of thing to happen. Have a good weekend, you guys!

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