spiders

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Photography

Eye of the Spider: Hypnotizing Macro Photos of Exotic Spiders Staring Directly into Your Mind

January 23, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Like hairy aliens from another planet, these tiny spiders seem to stare with giant, all-knowing eyes into your very soul. Whether they possess otherworldly secrets or a desire to attack your face is open to interpretation. Regardless, photographer Jimmy Kong has done an incredible job capturing these intimate moments with diverse arthropods found in his native Malaysia. What you see here is just a taste of his macro work that also involves insects, reptiles and other creepy crawly things. See more on Flickr. (via the Colossal Flickr Pool)

 

 



Design

Unknown Artistic Insect Builds a White Picket Fence to Protect its Nest of Eggs

September 2, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Earlier this summer while on vacation in Peru, graduate student Troy Alexander fell in love with the Amazon rainforest, and on his return asked an advisor at Georgia Tech if he could take a leave of absence and return to Peru as volunteer researcher. Three weeks later, Alexander found himself on a plane heading back South America to begin work for the Tambopata Macaw Project which focuses on parrot biology and conservation. It was a decision that would lead to his potential discovery of a new species of life, or at least one so rare nobody has a clue what it is.

While assisting with the project, Alexander stumbled onto fascinating structures attached to tree trunks, including a blue tarp that appeared to have been built by a spider or insect. The artistic organism had constructed a protective barrier around its egg sac complete with evenly placed vertical supports and perfectly parallel strands of webbing that unmistakably mimics a white picket fence. Though he had no idea what built it, he snapped a few photos, hoping that when he got home an entomologist would help him zero in on the moth or spider responsible and that would be the end of the story.

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Weeks after his return, Alexander hoped for a quick ID by posting a photos to Reddit’s popular “whatsthisbug” subreddit where biologists and experts in both insects and arachnids were all stumped. He says the photos have now been viewed “by the professional entomologists moderating Whatsthisbug, but also entomologists at Cal Tech, Georgia Tech, Rice University, the Smithsonian Institute, and more… [but] still no definite confirmation.” Some suspect that it could be something similar to the
Ribbed-Cocoon Maker Moth which also builds a protective structure, but nothing so distinct as this fence.

Scientists estimate there are still millions of undiscovered plant and animal species on Earth, so it’s no surprise that there are still plenty of undiscovered lifeforms out there, it’s just amazing that something so creative has never been documented before. (via Why Evolution is True)

 

 



Photography

The Most Beautifully Terrifying Spiders You Never Knew Existed

August 2, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Mirror Spider / Thwaitesia sp. / Singapore


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Long Horned Orb Weaver / Macracantha arcuata / Singapore

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Bird Dung Spider / Pasilobus sp. / Singapore

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Ladybird Mimic / Paraplectana sp. / Singapore

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Eight-Spotted Crab Spider / Platythomisus octomaculatus / Singapore

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Tree Stump Orb Weaver / Poltys illepidus / Singapore

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Net-Casting Ogre-Face Spider / Deinopis sp. / Singapore

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Ant Mimic Jumping Spider / Myrmarachne plataleoides / Singapore

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Wide-Jawed Viciria Spiderlings / Viciria praemandibularis / Singapore

Wow! Ick. Oooh. Whaaaaaaat. No. No. NOPE. That pretty much summarizes my reactions while looking at these incredible macro shots of spiders photographed by Nicky Bay who lives and works in Singapore. The boundless biodiversity found on the country’s several islands includes a vast array of insects and arachnids, many of which Bay has painstakingly documented up close with his macro photography and published on his blog and Flickr account.

Despite being creepy crawly spiders, it’s impossible to deny the endless creativity employed by evolution to create such amazing creatures. It’s hard to believe these lifeforms came from the same planet let alone the same country. For instance the Mirror Spider has an abdomen of reflective panels that glitter like a disco ball, or the various colors of Ladybird Mimic spiders that are almost indistinguishable from the insects they are camouflaged to look like. But there’s also the more frightening Two-Tailed Spider or the Bird Dung Spider that would have me scrambling for a frying pan and a quart of poison before I would even consider picking up a camera.

Nadia Drake over at Wired put together an informative gallery of Bay’s work along with a bit more detail than you’ll find here. All images above courtesy the photographer. (via Coudal)

 

 



Art

Enormous Daddy Long-Legs Overtake the Seattle Center Armory

September 10, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Seattle artist and science illustrator Marlin Peterson was recently commissioned by the Washington State Artist Trust to paint a mural somewhere in the city. After searching unsuccessfully for a suitably large wall, Peterson got the idea to look for a large roof, and where would a painting on a roof be more visible than right underneath the Seattle Space Needle. An agreement was reached with the Seattle Center Armory (formerly the Center House) and he quickly began work on two daddy long-leg spiders using a technique called trompe l’oeil that creates the illusion when seen from above that gigantic arachnids are actually overtaking the building. You can see many more photos and an explanation of his process over on Peterson’s website. (via street art utopia)

Update: An earlier version of this post referred to these arthropods as spiders. While technically daddy long-legs belong to the class Arachnida, they fall into the order Opiliones, which means they aren’t spiders, they’re called harvestmen. We regret the error. (thnx, everyone)

 

 



Art

Scissors Confiscated by the TSA Welded into Spiders

March 30, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Each year the Transportation Security Administration confiscates countless millions of personal objects from travelers prior to entering airport terminals including guns, knives, foodstuffs, aerosol cans, and yes, even small scissors. Sculptor Christopher Locke has capitalized on this endless supply of in-flight contraband by welding the scissors into pretty terrifying spiders that look like something out of a Tim Burton or Brothers Quay film. What I want to know is how many Christopher Locke sculptures are confiscated by the TSA each year and what kind of monstrosity we have to look forward to. (via endless geyser of awesome)

 

 

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