The Strangest and Most Unusual Spiders on Planet Earth

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Gourav Das
Gourav Das is an irreverent copywriter and business writing coach. He's on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and to make boring business blogs sparkle.

There are a lot of people who are creeped out by spiders. In fact, about thirty percent of the people in America are afraid of them. Who wouldn’t right? With those multiple big eyes and eight long legs. But those are not enough to describe most spiders because Scientists frequently discover new species with unexpected looks and talents, and spiders are not exceptions.

Spiders are also known to be among the most abundant predators in the world and they have adapted to different habitats. And today, we are going to give you a list of the strangest and most unusual spiders on Earth. If you have arachnophobia, you may not want to view this list, but you still can and see that these creatures are more diverse and fascinating more than being creepy.

1. Diving Bell Spider

This is also known as the Water Spider and its scientific name is Argyroneta aquatica. This spider is the only spider in the world to spend nearly most of their time underwater. It is usually found in Europe and Asia and they live in ponds, slow-moving streams, and shallow lakes. The Diving Bell spider cannot take oxygen directly from the water. What it does is it builds an underwater retreat with silk and fills it with air it carries from the surface. Once it is filled with air, the silk retreat becomes bell-shaped and has a silvery shine where it got its name.

The Diving Spider bell feeds on whatever aquatic invertebrate they can capture. This includes backswimmers, water striders, and diverse larvae. Aside from that, they also hunt tadpoles and small fish sometimes.

2. Scorpion-Tailed Spider

This spider is named Scorpion-tailed because of the female’s weird abdomen, ended in a “tail” similar to that of a scorpion. When this spider is threatened, it’s tail arches as a scorpion would. Only female ones have tails and the male ones look like an ordinary spider and are much smaller. They are found in Australia and they seem to be completely harmless.

3. Whip Spider

Whip Spider or also known as argyrodes colubrinus is also found in Australia. It has a long, thin abdomen that is similar to a snake’s body. Its unusual body is an example of camouflage because it looks like a small twig caught in spider silk. With this, it escapes notice by most predators and it is less spotted by its prey. Its venom is not known how potent but it is usually regarded as harmless because of its docile nature and short fangs.

4. Bird Dung Crab Spider

The bird dung crab spider is one of the most effective camouflages of all animals. It has a body that is covered on blobs and warts that give it the appearance of a fresh piece of bird excrement. Its camouflage has a double function aside from its appearance making it an unappetizing prey for most animals, it also serves as a lure for small, excrement-loving insects which is their favorite prey. This spider is usually found in Asia.

5. Spiny Orb Weaver

This spider is also known as a horned spider. It is a genus that has as many as 70 known species and they are found all around the world. Spiny orb weavers are completely harmless even though they have a frightening appearance. They are also noted for adding small silk flags to the edges of their webs for the birds to see so that they can steer away before getting entangled on the web. This spider can be found all around the world, usually in gardens.

6. Happy Face Spider

The happy face spider is closely related to the black widow spider and it is commonly found in the rainforests of Hawaii. It has strange patterns on its yellow abdomen which often take the form of a smiling face. There are also some which individual marking is less obvious. However, this spider is considered endangered because of its limited range and reduction of its natural habitat.

7. Assassin Spider

This spider is found in Madagascar and parts of Africa and Australia. They have long necks that are designed to support the weight of their enormous jaws. These spiders feed exclusively on other spiders. Even though they have fearsome appearance and name, they are harmless to humans.

8. Peacock Spider

This is another Australian species because it is brightly colored and has a circular flap in the male’s abdomen. Just like peacocks, male spiders raise their flaps like a colorful fan to catch the female’s attention. Aside from that, they also vibrate their hind legs and abdomen for a more dramatic effect.

9. Myrmarachne Plataleoides

This is an example of Batesian mimicry because it disguises as an unpalatable or dangerous animal of another species. It is a jumping spider whose appearance is similar to a weaver ant. But unlike weaver ants, this type of spider is harmless and shy but pretends to be tough with its look and moves. It is only found in China, India, and South Eastern Asia.

10. Bagheera Kiplingi

This spider is named after the black panther in The Jungle Book named Bagheera, and the book’s author named Rudyard Kipling. It has panther-like agility that is common to all jumping spiders. But this spider is not a predator because it is completely vegetarian. They feed exclusively on acacia buds and nectar. Their agility is used to escape aggressive ants that protect acacia trees from other animals.

11. The Flic-Flac Spider

This spider is a native of the Erg Chebbi desert in southeastern Morocco. It has the ability to cartwheel to be able to escape danger. When a predator threatens this spider, it will leap off the ground and do a series of somersaults, making a quick exit. In fact, a somersaulting robot was built based on its locomotion. And if alarmed, the Flic-Flac spider can even tumble forward at a rate of 6.6 feet per second.

12. Spitting Spider

This spider uses webs to catch prey. It takes aim and fires twin streams of venom-drenched silk out of their fangs. It can release fibers in a wide-arced, zig-zag pattern at a top speed of 62 miles per hour. Aside from its web being coated with venom, it also drips with a super-sticky glue that will shrink and constrict the prey.

13. Fishing Spider

This spider can walk on water because of its hydrophobic coats and a knack for exploiting surface tension. It can be found in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. They will splay themselves over the surface of lakes or streams to be able to hunt aquatic insects, tadpoles and small fish. They can monitor aquatic vibrations with their sensitive leg hairs as much as 18 centimeters below the water’s surface, making it easy for them to catch their prey.

14. Gliding Spider

Out of the many different kinds of spiders, none of them can fly, but there’s one genus that can free-fall like parachutes. Biologists documented an unusual behavior of 59 tree-dwelling spiders of the genus Selenops dropping systematically from tree crowns in Panama and Peru. Majority of these spiders steered themselves towards nearby trees and land safely on the trunks.

15. Two-Tailed Spider

This spider does not spin a web. It simply lies and wait on a tree or rock and sits there perfectly until its prey comes along. Once its target is in range, it will swiftly attack it. But if something larger than it comes, it can move away faster than you can blink.

16. Funnel-Web Spider

This spider can be found in Australia. It is anti-social and often stays away from people. However, people come in contact with them when male funnel-web spiders come out during the mating season to find a female. That is very dangerous because this spider can kill a human in just 15 minutes because of its venom.

17. Tree Stump Orb Weaver

When you’re out in the woods, you might not even notice that a spider is watching you. It’s because, over millions of years, this spider has gained the ability to look like a tree that’s why it is called Tree Stump orb weaver.

18. Ladybird Mimic

This spider has a body that looks just like a ladybug. The ladybird mimic might look harmless, but it is only its way to be able to catch prey easily. Once its target gets near it, it will immediately grasp it.

19. Huntsman

This spider usually avoids humans but there are rare cases that they will appear and won’t leave. This spider is gargantuan and aside from that, it is also venomous. Its bite won’t kill a human, but it will surely hurt and would cause swelling. Huntsman spiders are also found in Australia.

20. Eight-Spotted Crab Spider

This spider was discovered in 1924 in Singapore. It has a spotted body that looks really creepy, making it seem like it’s designed specifically for Halloween. This spider is very reclusive and only a very few have been seen in the wild.

These are some of the strangest and most unusual spiders that you can find here on Earth. They all sure look very strange and creepy as well, but most of them are harmless even though they appear to be scary. And regardless of how they look, they all have fascinating abilities to be able to survive.

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