Video of a tarantula 'swimming' is here to haunt your dreams
A fear of spiders is one of the most common phobias in the world. Hardly surprising. Although the eight-legged critters have never had the best PR out of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, their long, hairy legs, scuttling movements, and occasionally venomous bites haven't exactly endeared them to humanity - despite the vital role they play in the ecosystem.
If you thought your fear of spiders had reached its zenith, you might want to think again, because if the following footage is to be believed, then it looks as though spiders can actually swim. Not only that, but they can actually move about on the water pretty damn fast. Yikes!
Check out the disturbing video of the spider below:
The video above was taken by awestruck onlookers at a state park in Texas last year. The chilling video has recently gone viral again on social media, with more people realizing that their worst nightmare is a reality and that arachnids can actually get them even in water.
According to Jason A. Dunlop, a researcher from the University of Manchester in England, many different species of spider have been observed to 'swim' in the wild, although usually as a result of falling into large bodies of water accidentally. Using humidity receptors on their legs called hygroreceptors, the spiders are able to detect whether they have come into contact with water and act accordingly.
Dunlop notes that "Tarantulas effectively swim by ‘rowing’ on the surface of the water, using their first three pairs of legs like paddles ... Most tarantulas probably never have to face the need to swim, but it is clear that if they must swim, they have the behavioural plasticity to do so. "
So there you have it guys: tarantulas can now get you even when you're going for a paddle in the pool. I'm never leaving my room again.