Written by Jonathan Wojcik
September 1: Spooky Spiders!
As you may know, I sometimes submit articles to the wildly popular comedy site Cracked, and while it pays well and spreads my name around, I generally have to write like a completely different person to fit in with their style, and the final edited versions of my articles can result in statements directly the opposite of my own sentiments. This is particularly true when I write about invertebrates, as Cracked has a long running "animals are terrifying" gag that its audienc eats up like reeses peanut butter pumpkins.
Gosh, have I mentioned these things yet?
Normally, I let the yucky bug jokes slide. It is, after all, paid work, drives a lot of traffic back to Bogleech and I am legally agreeing to let them do whatever they please with words I put in the computer box. Today, however, I finally find myself regretting the outcome of one submission, 6 Terrifying Spiders That Will Haunt Your Dreams, which wasn't half as remorselessly anti-spider when I submitted it. I think it was right around the words "kill it" (not my own) that I officially decided to disown this one, as someone who has spent much of their life openly crusading against the fear, loathing and wanton murder of arachnids. I value how I appear to arachnologists, entomologists and invertebrate hobbyists significantly more than how I appear to consumers of comedy articles, so having taken my name off "Terrifying Spiders" on Cracked, I'm going to share with you a modified new version of what I originally submitted.
Deviant Spiders to Haunt Your Dreams!
A more affectionate spider thing by Jonathan Wojcik!
They're bite-sized, they're terrified of us warm-blooded giants and they cut back on mosquitoes, yet spiders manage to horrify more than two thirds of the human population, an irrational and easily cured fear that most people are apparently too lazy to address. In an apparent effort to curb Arachnophobia, mother nature went on record screaming "You think THAT'S scary, assholes?" and set to work showing the world how much weirder things could get.
The scorpion tailed spider is so named for the weird, elongated abdomen of the female, which may not sting like a scorpion, but can wiggle and curl around to presumably confuse its predators. You don't have to do the whole routine, honey, we were already confused enough.
Looking like its body was sliced off and tattooed with some kind of satanic gateway, Cyclocosmia truncata, the Ravine Trap Door Spider, actually uses its manhole-cover booty like, well, a manhole cover, sealing off its burrow from potential predators.
You have to admire any animal whose instinctive response to an attack is to present its ass.
The Blind Cave Huntsman Sinopoda scurion was discovered only this year, and considered the first known example of a "huntsman" spider completely losing its eyes. It doesn't need eyes to hunt in the perpetual darkness of its subterranean world, but I'm sure it would probably like some.
YOURSSSS WILL DO NICCCCCCELY!
Trogloraptor marchingtoni is another unprecedented cave spider discovered in recent months, and so bizarre it had to be assigned an entirely new family - the first in over twenty years - under the most kick-ass name you'll hear all day.
The "raptor" in "Trogloraptor" comes from the razor sharp hooks on the ends of its legs, shared by no other known spider and used to ensnare
human souls insect prey in mid-air as it hangs upside-down.
What "tree stump spider?" Is it behind the stick? Is it inside the stick? Is it behind the camera, photographing sticks?
Oh. Oh no. How is this even a thing. This isn't a spider. It's a tree penis with a whole spider for testicles. Its like Mother Nature tried to make a pun on "wood" and doesn't really speak English yet. "SURPRISE! IT WERE SPIDER! YOU AM LAUGH?!"
If you've ever questioned whether God really designed all life on Earth, Gasteracantha arcuata should clear everything up. We can plainly see how the Shrieking Fleshlord Mal'b'goroth, huge ham that he is, decided to model this species after his seventeenth head.
These walking gargoyle skulls also go by "jewel spiders," and come in a wide array of other designer shapes, including, as you can see, "22 eyed Demon," "Jason Vorhees" and "22 eyed Jason Vorhees Demon."
The Long Jawed spider Tetragnatha guatemalensis, not satisfied with having horribly elongated legs, also evolved jaws and fangs so huge that they have to fold in half, like a switchblade, and come lined with teeth to trap their prey. It's like a spider that glued preying mantis arms onto its face, or the bug realm's equivalent of a shark with eagle talons.
Even more fun is the fact that these are the spiders responsible for making headlines with an astoundingly massive, multi-million-spider megaweb. Can you imagine how tangled those jaws would get in your hair, if you walked through ten thousand of them at once?
I know, I know, some of you really really don't like spiders. I won't pretend to understand, but if you've stuck it out this long, I guess you deserve some relief. You like things like ladybugs, right?
Ladybugs would never betray you. Nothing so roly-poly and polka-dotted could ever-
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