If you’ve seen photos of giant fishing spiders crawling all over your Facebook News Feed, you can thank the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources for that. The agency posted on its wall a note about the arachnid, which has been spotted all over the state, apparently.
Fearful of spiders?
People found the news so interesting that they have shared the news over 10,000 times. Also the post received over 2,000 comments, including a lot of photos taken by Facebook users who snapped their own pictures of the giant fishing spiders they have seen. Enough people are afraid of spiders to warrant an entire film about it, so it comes as no surprise that so many Facebook users expressed concern and that they hate spiders.
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However, National Geographic dusted off the archives on the creature and shared some amazing facts. It sounds like the giant fishing spider has enough “super powers” to be called cool and not strike fear into people’s hearts.
Giant fishing spiders and their super powers
Some species of spiders can actually pull up and eat fish and other aquatic animals that are up to five times their weight. Fishing spiders in particular can actually consume an entire frog. But spiders that eat fish are more common than you might think, as they appear on every continent except Antarctica.
In addition to being able to eat frogs, giant fishing spiders can actually walk on water by sort of bouncing on the surface. They can also row across the water in a way that’s not that different than how water striders do it. Fishing spiders can even run across the surface if they’re trying to evade a predator. They can also sail across the water by standing with two or three pairs of legs up and letting the wind push them along the surface of the water.
Anything to worry about?
In spite of their size, scientists say fishing spiders don’t threaten humans. University of Minnesota entomologist Jeffrey Hahn says they aren’t aggressive to humans and almost never bite. He says when they do, it’s because they feel threatened. For example, they might bite if they get trapped under someone’s clothing on accident.
If someone is bitten by a fishing spider, there isn’t much reason to worry either. He says the bites don’t hurt any worse than a mild bee sting. For those who get the heebie-jeebies from just seeing a spider, he recommends capturing it in a jar and releasing it in another location. Of course the squeamish should probably get some help with that.