SPIDER WARNING, SPIDERS SPIDERS SPIDERS: Jumping Spiders Spin Silk Mid-Jump To Help Prepare For Landing

August 8, 2013


Jumping spiders: for most people, a terrifying combination. For me, a challenge to catch bare handed. And now researchers at Taiwan's National Chung Hsing University have discovered that some species attach a silk 'dragline' before leaping onto their prey to help stabilize flight and control their landing. Plus spiders climb all over you while you sleep. Ahahahahhahahaha, I don't like you.

The study was conducted with Hasarius adansoni, a common jumping spider species that looks a bit like an eight-eyed koala. Chi's team compared the gracefully targeted landings of spiders that attached draglines to their jump-off points to the tumbling crashes of silk-less individuals. The silk, which the spiders spin out rapidly as they fly through the air, likely acts as a stabilizer, with spiders presumably halting their jumps with some "internal friction brake," the researchers conclude.

In-air stability is essential for jumping spiders, which can leap up to 50 times their body length -- proportionally comparable to a human covering a football field in one leap

Somebody remind me why we're studying jumping spiders' jumps again. Is this like, gonna change airplanes? Are we gonna have airplanes shooting goo before landing now? But seriously, how do researchers know the spiders are even doing this on purpose and it's not just the equivalent of shitting yourself when you're scared. Because if I was jumping 50x my body length you better believe I'm gonna land with a squish in my pants.

Hit the jump for two videos, the first of a spider using a silk dragline, the second of a spider that just said f*** it, let's see what happens.

Thanks to tuqueque, who

  • Amplifide

    We've known about this for awhile now. I remember reading about the tether silk jumping spiders use to control their jumps years ago. Why is this a new study? That being said, jumping spiders are the only tolerable spiders. Fuzzy and cute.

  • Elak Swindell

    Jumping spiders are cool. I also call them Bungie Spiders since they attached a single thread to your finger when they jump off and then hang from it. Give it a slight tug and they climb right back up. Another name I like for them is Tank Spiders, since they like to rotate around like a turret while watching you. But, the best of their species is the Australian Maratus Peacock Dancing Spider. Definitely the prettiest and most awesome spider in the world. You can watch them here: http://www.youtube.com/watc...

  • We're that much closer to a tachikoma!!!

  • Robin Manford

    Thanks to tuqueque who...who what, GW? Don't leave us hang- oh wait, I get it.

  • john

    just look up "scientifically accurate spiderman" in youtube... its an experience

  • Robin Manford

    Sharing that one with everyone I know.

  • WhiteEagle2

    Just got a bad image of some guy jumping a football field with a trail of shit coming out his rear.

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