NASA once fed spiders drugs like LSD and marijuana and then watched as the stoned bugs made “deformed” webs. The space agency published the results of its bizarre experiment in 1995 – and they were as fascinating as you’d expect. Continue reading »
Several new species of peacock spider – just a few millimetres long and featuring extraordinary colours – have been discovered in Western Australia and South Australia. Jürgen Otto, a biologist from Sydney, has been researching the arachnids since 2005, and has gained a significant following online with his footage. He believes there are now 48 confirmed species of peacock spider within the Maratus genus, found across Australia but particularly in Western Australia – and many more awaiting confirmation. Here: Maratus Tasmanicus, one of seven new species of peacock spiders studied and photographed by the Sydney biologist Jürgen Otto. Continue reading »
A four-metre-long woven textile made from the silk of more than a million female Golden Orb spiders collected from the highlands of Madagascar is on display at the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum in London. The hand-woven brocaded textile, which is on display at the museum till June 5, 2012, is naturally golden in colour and took over four years to create.
It will be shown together with a new golden cape, currently being woven and embroidered in Madagascar, which will go on public display for the very first time at the V&A. The clothes have reportedly been made by Englishman Simon Peers, who lives in Madagascar, and American Nicholas Godley, and are the only large textiles in the world to have been made from spider silk.
Yellow woven spider silk cape. Continue reading »