Get your Spidey Sense Going

By Liz Campbell

Are you afraid of spiders? The Royal Ontario Museum’s exhibition, Spiders – Fear and Fascination – is a great place to learn more about these creatures which many of us find creepy or even frightening.

The exhibit is the perfect way to spend a hot or rainy summer day. Enter a spider cave; see 20 real spiders (safely enclosed in glass cases); watch spiders being ‘milked’ for their venom; or listen to stories from around the world about spider characters.  You can even stamp on spiders – the virtual kind of course!

Want to know more?

Check out these cool spider facts:

  • Spider blood is blue or green because it doesn’t have the iron that makes human blood red
  • Some spiders can see 360 degrees in a full circle
  • There are more than 48,000 documented spider species in the world. But that’s not all spiders; more than 100,000 species are thought to exist
  • When they leave the nest, some spider babies ‘balloon’ into the air, and sail away on fine threads of silk
  • Some spider webs contain more than 3,000 attachment points
  • Spiders recycle! They eat part of the old web to help make a new one
  • About 95 per cent of spiders in your house have NEVER been outside
  • The Australian golden huntsman spider has been recorded to run 31 times its body length in a single second – that’s almost six times faster than Usain Bolt!
  • To teach their young how to hunt, some female spiders sacrifice themselves as their offspring’s first meal
  • Spiders are found everywhere in the world except the two poles
  • It is estimated that a human is never more than 10 feet away from a spider — ever!
  • When a spider travels, it always has four legs touching the ground and four legs off the ground at any given moment
  • In the past, people would put spider webs on their wounds to help stop the bleeding. In fact, it helps – the silk contains vitamin K, which helps reduce bleeding
  • Unlike mosquitoes or ticks, spiders don’t feed on human blood and they have no reason to bite a human unless they feel threatened or surprised