Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Horrifying Tuesday : Camel Spider

Camel Spider? Is that some type of creepy inter-species lovechild? No. That's disgusting. Despite it's name, the Camel Spider is one of the scariest bugs you can find running around your home. In fact, the spider's horrifiyingness alone, has gained hundreds of urban legends associated with this specific species exaggerating their size and speed, or maybe they were all correct, and we're simply getting the sock pulled over our eyes by the good ol' government. But yeah, probably not.

"Soon Canada. Soon."

The Camel Spider goes by many names, the solifugae, the wind scorpion, and the sun spider, and since you don't usually name a fluffy sheep "wind scorpion", so you can probably guess that the Camel Spider isn't going to be a dandy pink sunflower. Considering that scorpions in general aren't known for their gentle kindness, we can also suggest that the Camel Spider aren't as pleasant as Aunt Margret. (The power of induction!)

"Pardon me, good sir!"

In fact, these spiders can reach up to six inches long. Although it doesn't sound that big, wait until you see the bugger. To start off, this little guy has ten "legs" which is already two more than actual arachnids, so technically, it's already two steps ahead of the competition. The extra two legs aren't true legs though, they serve partly as sense organs like an antenna of an ant. These extra "legs" help the spider spend less time bumping into rocks and more time slaughtering children fighting ants.

"Hello, friend. I am interested in buying timeshares."

What makes this spider especially special, is it's large mouth parts. The teeth are capable of ripping hair or feathers from prey, cutting through skin like butter, or even crushing small bones in birds like nutcrackers on Christmas. To put the cream on the cake, they have extremely complex eyes that allow them to recognize forms to help them determine the difference between a grasshopper and a F-16 jet.

Other than ballistic missiles on the sides, I frankly don't see a difference.

Reproduction of these animals may sound like a lovely animal story, but it really isn't. Sicko. After the male inserted his genetic material into the female, the female would fatten herself by eating as much food as possible in order to prepare for the next few days/weeks. After digging a burrow and laying 50 to 200 eggs, she will stand guard day and night until the eggs hatch. So far, it sounds like a spider has more commitment than you do for most of your activities.

"Activities? Hahahhahahaha. I'm a dog."

The relationship between humans is a bitter sweet one. People have been reported to abandon houses and cities due to infestations of them, (who wouldn't?) while British troops in Libya during World War 2 would stage fights between them and scorpions for enjoyment.

"Lucky me."

However, the fact that they can outrun most people at 10 miles per hour, they can probably chase you down if they wanted to. Luckily, they have no venom, which makes them technically harmless. However, thanks to their horrifying appearance, people have blamed the spider for various things such as killing the family's dog or such. But that doesn't mean they can't theoretically memorize your "shape" and tear your cheeks up while you sleep. Luckily again, the only possible danger from this spider is in part due to the strong muscles in their mouth that can create large wounds that can become easily infected. (You know, nothing to worry about.)

These creatures are known to be opportunistic eaters; they don't care if you throw a cricket or a snake at it, they'll eat it. Videos have been recorded of the spider killing and consuming lizards and rodents. They would kill the prey, cut them up to small pieces, liquefy them, and consume the fluid.

"Sounds good to me."

Luckily, they are usually only located near deserts, grasslands, or forest habitats. So you're unlikely to encounter one on your morning stroll. In case you live in one of the above areas, they are likely to grow and thrive in your environment, especially the warm and dry areas. Better check behind your refrigerator!

"Can I come over for dinner, chap?"