19 Stories

Tarantula Blamed for Death Valley Crash

Canadian motorcyclist was hospitalized, but the 'spider walked away unscathed,' NPS says

(Newser) - A Swiss couple who apparently didn't have an "I Brake for Tarantulas" bumper sticker on their rented camper van were involved in a crash in Death Valley National Park, authorities say. In a Facebook post , the National Park Service said the Swiss tourists braked suddenly to avoid hitting...

Tarantula Breeder's Call Led to Discovery of New Species

Of worm, that is

(Newser) - Having a new species of worm named after you may not seem like the highest honor, but in the case of Tarantobelus jeffdanielsi, it's a worm that comes with a cinematic edge. This particular species of nematode is a tarantula-killer, hence its name, which is a nod to the...

Hundreds of Live Tarantulas Seized From 'Cookie' Boxes

They were shipped to airport in the Philippines

(Newser) - Philippine customs officials were astonished when they opened nicely gift-wrapped boxes of cookies and oatmeal flown in all the way from Poland and found a hair-raising contraband: hundreds of live tarantulas. Bureau of Customs personnel seized the 757 tarantulas at a mail exchange center near Manila's international airport Monday...

Restaurant Busted for Serving Tarantula Tacos

Species is protected in Mexico

(Newser) - Fancy a tarantula taco for a cool $27? Not so fast, Mexican authorities say. A Mexico City restaurant recently put the arachnids on its menu and posted a video on Facebook showing a chef torching one until blackened. The only problem: The Mexican red rump tarantula is a protected species....

California Hikers Warned to Watch Out for Amorous Tarantulas

But don't worry, they're not a serious threat to humans

(Newser) - Tarantulas are out looking for love, and hikers in Southern California's Santa Monica Mountains are warned to watch out for the hairy spiders, reports AP . Tarantula mating season has begun, and it will last through the end of October, the National Park Service said Thursday. That means the giant...

Birth of These 200 Spiders Is a Really Big Deal

Montserrat tarantulas bred in captivity for first time

(Newser) - Hundreds of tarantulas emerging from the ground might seem like the stuff of nightmares, but to scientists at the UK's Chester Zoo, it's a dream come true. About 200 baby Montserrat tarantulas recently hatched at the zoo, marking the first time the rare spiders have been bred in...

Escaped Tarantulas Cause Panic on Plane

A passenger found one crawling up her leg

(Newser) - It sounds like a nightmare come true, especially for people afraid of both flying and spiders: On a recent flight from the Dominican Republic to Montreal, two escaped tarantulas caused chaos and terrified passengers, including a woman who was watching a movie when she found one crawling up her leg,...

Johnny Cash Gets His Own Namesake Tarantula

It's one of 14 newly discovered tarantula species discovered in the US

(Newser) - In news that would probably make Buzz McCallister happy, scientists discovered 14 new species of tarantula in the US, publishing their findings Thursday in ZooKeys . “For such a popular organism in our culture, whether it’s Hollywood movies or B movies, there’s not really much work that’s...

How to Cure a Spider Phobia in 2 Minutes

Hang out with a tarantula, then get a dose of propranolol: study

(Newser) - Arachnophobes, rejoice! A new study suggests a cure to your fear of spiders is just two minutes away. The only problem is that it involves being near a tarantula. Reporting in Biological Psychiatry , University of Amsterdam scientists say they built an experiment out of the idea of reconsolidation—that memories...

Why Blue Tarantulas Are Baffling

Why are their hairs so blue?

(Newser) - Next time a big, blue tarantula comes crawling over, just ask yourself, "Why is it blue?" At least that's what a group of researchers did, and they realized it's a tough question, National Geographic reports. The Verge reports there are at least 40 tarantula species that are...

Runaway Tarantula Grounds Plane

Passengers had to board another flight

(Newser) - Weirdest flight snafu in a while: A tarantula that escaped in the cargo hold of a passenger flight from Maryland's BWI airport to Atlanta grounded the plane before it could take off and sent passengers onto another flight. A spokesman for Delta Air Lines tells the Baltimore Sun that...

5-Inch Tarantula Escapes on Mass. Campus

But don't worry, he's not dangerous ... though he does bite

(Newser) - A tiger was recently roaming the streets of a California neighborhood, there's a deadly king cobra on the loose in Florida, and on the UMass Lowell campus, there's a tarantula missing. But don't worry: While perhaps scary (it's 4 to 5 inches long), the spider is...

Farmers' Creepy New Gig: Collecting Tarantulas

They provide the animals to pet breeders

(Newser) - After a drought this summer, some Nicaraguan farmers have struggled to make ends meet. But some have found a new way to make money: by collecting members of the local tarantula population, AFP reports. Over a two-week period, one family was able to collect 400 of the creatures. "We...

Scientists Name Tarantula After John Lennon

Meet Bumba lennoni, which bears no resemblance to the Beatle

(Newser) - Researchers inspired by what they described as John Lennon's mission to "make this world a gentler place" have named a not-so-gentle tarantula after him, reports NBC News . Bumba lennoni lives in the Brazilian Amazon and, sadly, bears no weird resemblance to Lennon. (Unlike a swamp-dwelling Mick Jagger namesake...

Mystery Spiders Swarm Town, Leave 2 Dead

Indian town of Sadiya reels from arachnid invasion

(Newser) - Venomous spiders have swarmed the Indian town of Sadiya, killing two people and flooding hospitals with spider bite victims, the Global Post reports. The previously unknown species, which resembles the tarantula, crawled in about a month ago and wreaked havoc at a Hindu festival. A man and a schoolboy have...

Top 10 Newly Discovered Species

Including a mushroom named for SpongeBob

(Newser) - Roughly 18,000 new species were discovered last year, and scientists at Arizona State University have compiled a list of their 10 favorites. A sample, from the Arizona Republic :

United Nations Probes Benefits of Insect Diet

 Insects: Our 
 Next Food Craze?   
'Guardian' blog

Insects: Our Next Food Craze?

UN agency considers benefits of a critter diet

(Newser) - Cambodian deep-fried tarantula, anyone? A chocolate ant wafer or curried cockchafer? Such meals are already popular in many nations, but now the UN is investigating whether we should all munch on the critters. In his Guardian blog, Fraser Lewry says stats favor an insect diet: After all, the world population...

Save the World: Eat a Spider
 Save the World: Eat a Spider 

Save the World: Eat a Spider

Spiders, ants, locusts so much easier on the environment than cattle

(Newser) - It sounds creepy, but one of the best ways to save the world could be turning to creepy crawlies. Western gourmands generally find dining on bugs unpalatable, but for some 2.5 billion people in the world, especially in tropical regions, spiders and insects have long been part of the...

Tarantula Barb Jabs Owner in the Eye

UK man's condition baffles ophthalmologists

(Newser) - A 29-year-old British man has new respect for his pet tarantula after the spider sprayed tiny barbed hairs into his face and some of the microscopic weapons penetrated his eye. The man wasn't responding to treatment for conjunctivitis—which made sense after an ophthalmologist cranked up the magnification to examine...

19 Stories