Objectively, we all know that, even when they look absolutely terrifying, most spiders are completely harmless. Hell, some of them don't even look like the devil threw up a nightmare: Spiders are furry, have big ol' puppy dog eyes and do adorable things like wear dew as hats. But that's not quite enough to quiet the screaming voices telling you to abandon everything and run -- just run and never stop running -- every time you walk through an errant web. So here are a few reasons you might just want to give the next spider you see a big ol' hug instead of a series of stomps followed by anxious sobbing.
Spiders are good at hugging, you see. They have oh so many arms. Tuck in close, now ...
#6. Using Perfume to Attract Lovers
We all want to smell our best for prospective mates, and Evarcha culicivora are no different. That's right: Studies have shown that even spiders prefer their mates perfumed. Despite all of their inherent alien horror, there's something kind of adorable about that, isn't there? Any creature that cares enough about making that good first impression on a member of the opposite sex is a creature we can relate to. You can just imagine the little fellas now, all clasping their little furry legs together with wide-eyed earnestness while a pretty-smelling girl comes sidling up to them.
Via Robert R. Jackson
"Man, is it hot in here, or is it just my huge spider boner?"
So what is it that makes these little debutantes go wild for each other? What is spider perfume? Maybe they rub themselves up on some pretty flowers, roll around in a field of berries, bathe in fresh spring water?
It's blood. Malaria-infected blood.
Axe Body Spray uses basically the same ingredients.
#5. Making Music to Attract the Ladies
The serenade is the most romantic, loving, gentle and civilized form of courtship. Even our eight-legged monster friends know it. But spiders don't have acoustic guitars, or pianos, or even CDs to burn romantic mix tapes onto. So what's a lonely spider to do? Well, males of the Dictyna civica species play music for the ladies by making a series of vibrations on the female's web. So it's part mating dance, too, which we all know animals do, but the weird thing is that the music and rhythm play an important part in the wooing.
Know any Skynyrd?
Maybe tying music and romance together is pure anthropomorphism on our part, but songbirds, crickets and whales all do it, and we can't help but view them with an air of gentleness because of this behavior. They sing, they mate, they love.
Via Wikimedia Commons
They liquify their prey.
Of course, if the male spider plays one off-note -- makes one little misstep -- he'll be mistaken for a struggling fly. Then the female, instead of telling him he has a kind soul and then boning him on a stained futon to a Dave Matthews Band song, will charge out and devour him.
"Dude, she's not mad. When I asked, she said nothing was wrong."
#4. Motherly Love
Motherhood is a magical thing: Any mother would do just about anything for her own special little mucusy subcreature. You'd take a bullet for yours, suffer through sleepless nights to comfort it and perhaps even cut back on those monthly porn subscriptions just to feed it, clothe it and buy it toys. One day, maybe, God willing, you'll even grow so attached that you'll bother to give it a name and stop referring to the baby as an "it."
That's what the poets call "love."
Via Joaquin Portela
In between whole stanzas of screaming.
Turns out our human mothers don't have a lock on that shit. A spider mommy of the Stegodyphus variety very nearly starves herself just to feed her young, regurgitating every meal so all her babies get fed. She sacrifices everything: Her health, her well-being, even her life to defend her brood. It takes a lot for a thinking being to repress its own survival instincts; for a predatory animal, it is nothing short of amazing. Birds, mammals -- even turtles abandon the hell out of their young the first chance they get, and those are the ninjas that first taught us about the true bonds of friendship.
So it's pretty astounding to think of the Stegodyphus spider putting them all to shame with her intense, matronly love. But instead of Mother's Day cards and a call every Christmas, her children show their gratitude by climbing onto her abdomen as soon as they are physically able, then sinking their fangs into her belly and drinking her.
"It beats ending up in a home."