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The most well-known and widespread phobia is the fear of spiders and creepy crawlies. Perhaps quite understandably, because honestly, they don’t look too pleasant up close. Here are ten facts that might further fuel your potential phobia.

A cross between spiders and goats? No problem…

Randy Lewis, a professor of genetics at Utah State University, has implanted spider genes into a goat embryo, creating a goat named Freckles. The goat produces spider silk proteins in its milk, which are used to make “biosteel,” a material stronger than Kevlar. [source]

Bird-eating spiders can become incredibly old…

Bird-eating spiders (as shown in the picture below) only reach maturity at around 10 years, and females have been known to live up to 30 or even 40 years. [source]

Spiders have only gotten larger and larger in evolution…

The largest known fossilized spider found in China measures only 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) and is 165 million years old. This means that the largest spiders that exist today are likely the largest that have ever existed. [source]

No one has died from authentic spider bites in Australia since 1979…

The number of human deaths from authentic spider bites of any kind in Australia since 1979 has been zero. Not having any deaths from authentic spider bites for such a long time is very impressive, considering the many venomous spider species in the country. [source]

No, you don’t swallow spiders in your sleep…

The “fact” that people swallow eight spiders annually in their sleep is not true. They usually don’t crawl intentionally into a bed because it doesn’t offer any prey. Spiders probably just find sleeping humans intimidating. [source]

The blood sport called “spider fighting”…

Spider fighting is a brutal blood sport that involves spiders and takes various forms in the Philippines, Japan, and Singapore. The fights that occur in the Philippines and Japan are staged between females of different species of orb-weavers. The blood sport generates millions of dollars annually. [source]

The spider that rolls away in danger…

Carparachne aureoflava (also called the “wheel spider”), found in the Namib Desert, rolls up its legs and transforms into a “wheel,” then rolls away when it senses danger, as seen in the picture below. The spider’s defensive technique has also inspired companies building robots, as they can move faster in a similar manner. [source]

It’s mostly in captivity that males are eaten by females after mating…

Female black widow spiders rarely eat their mates after mating, and much of the documented evidence of cannibalism has taken place in laboratory cages where the males couldn’t escape. [source]

Daddy long-legs spiders aren’t as innocent as they may seem…

Harvestmen spiders (perhaps better known as “daddy long-legs”) have no problem feeding on venomous spiders, such as black widows. [source]

The spider web is meticulously planned…

Spiders adjust each part of their web to a specific frequency by making some threads tighter than others, so that when something gets caught, the spider can easily locate it. Spiders also use this to determine what causes the soundfood or a potential mate. [source]

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