Believe it or not, but we could be living among more bizarre and dangerous spiders than we ever imagined. You never know how many pairs of eight eyes are staring back at you.
Some of us have favorite animals. While many opt for the likes of bears, wolves, or dogs as their animal of choice, not many people stand up and shout that they can’t imagine living in a world without spiders. However, it might be time that we start to learn how to live with them once and for all as there are more than 35,000 named species of spiders found all across the world, but that’s not all. Spiders are also found in every continent apart from Antarctica. Give it time, we’re sure they will adapt to the cold.
Most spiders prefer to keep away from humans and prey on insects or small mammals instead, but what about the ones who get a little too close for comfort? Yes, the planet is filled with some of the most bizarre and dangerous spiders who could be lurking a little closer than you ever imagined. However, there is a lot more to these eight-legged creatures than meets the eye – or all eight of them.
Happy face spider
The Hawaiin happy face spider is only found in the rainforests of Hawaii. However, no one is quite sure why they have a smiling face on their back. Some scientists believe that it’s to help confuse predators while others think that it helps them to blend into their surroundings by making it look as though they are merely rusted spots.
That’s not all. One study showed they change from yellow to green or orange depending on what they eat throughout the day. As if that wasn’t enough, they don’t use webs to capture their food, but they hunt it down and attack instead. Not so happy now.
There is a good reason the peacock spider has earned its name: it’s considered to be one of the most colorful spiders in the world. Most peacock spiders are smaller than a little fingernail, but they put their colors to good use.
The males use their black and white legs to start a dance for the females before they flash their bright abdomens to their future partner. It turns out this spider has even more tricks up its many sleeves. They can see in intricate detail to measure distances and colors so that it lands safely when it jumps up to 20 times its body length.
Mirror or sequined spiders are some of the many species of spiders who have helped changed people’s opinions of the creepy crawlies thanks to their glistening appearance. Instead of removing everything they eat from their bodies, these spiders actually excrete a by-product from their food to the surface of their gut.
This results in a glistening appearance across their abdomen. As well as looking pretty impressive, this sparkling look also helps them to blend into the background. This is because mirror spiders are found along streams in Australia where they look like drops of water before they contract their stomachs to turn back to brown instantly.
Six-eyed sand spider
Although many spiders have eight eyes, the six-eyed sand spider is missing a pair. They are found all across Africa where more than 38,000 species of this spider alone have been identified. However, because they are so good at hiding, it’s thought there could be more than 200,000.
The spiders are covered in hairs that help particles of sand to stick to their bodies. This is most helpful when they bury themselves into the ground and wait for their prey to arrive. Rather than using webs, these spiders ambush their prey with their venom being the most venomous of any species of spider.
Believe it or not, but the ladybird mimic spider doesn’t use its impressive camouflage to help find its prey, but it actually has the striking colors and spots to help keep it safe from other creatures. Apparently, the brighter the ladybird, the more toxic it is.
Yes, that bright red means they are dangerous and taste bad to birds. Many have learned to avoid the insects at all costs. The mimic spiders have learned this, and have adapted their patterns to match their fellow bugs. The brighter their bodies, the safer they are from predators, meaning they are free to go about their spider lives in peace.
Bird dung crab spider
These spiders have taken their camouflage to the next level. Not only do they look like bird dung, but they smell like it, too. Many people would think that a spider sitting out in the open is asking for trouble.
However, the bird dung crab spider sits motionless on leaves waiting for the insects to come to them as they pull in all of their legs, so they don’t give the game away. Birds avoid going for the eight-legged wonders as they think they are nothing of interest, while the glossy appearance on the spider’s back helps to add to the illusion.
Sydney funnel-web spider
These are some of the most notorious spiders in Australia as they come with a fearsome reputation. Although they spend most of their time steering clear of humans, the Sydney funnel-web spider will rear up onto its back legs to show off their fangs.
They spend most of their time in burrows as they prefer dark and humid conditions. Here, they lay trip lines leading to the door, so they know whenever anything wanders into their path. Dehydrated spiders often fall into pools where they can survive for hours with their bite being one of the most dangerous to humans as the venom attacks the nervous system.
Amazingly, over 300 species of spiders have learned how to mimic ants to survive. As ants are known to be so aggressive and defensive of their territory, many animals avoid a confrontation with the critters at all costs. Most of the spiders are covered in hair to make it look as though they have three segments to their bodies.
As if that wasn’t enough, many ant-mimicking spiders hold their front legs above their head to make it look as though they have antennae. The point of it all? It’s an eat or be eaten world out there, and sometimes these spiders need to get closer to their prey.
Tree stump orb weaver
This spider has learned how to transform from night to day. Throughout the day, the tree stump orb spider lives up to its name as it spends hours sat with all of its legs tucked in. Now, it can perfectly blend into the surrounding webs of the forest.
That is until the sun sets. Now, it gets to work building an impressive orb web – a standard circular web that many of us are used to seeing in our backyard. The spider waits throughout the night as it collects its meal before it dismantles its web by sunrise and returns to a day of hiding in plain sight.
Like a handful of other spiders, the lynx spider doesn’t rely on a web to catch its prey, but hunts and ambushes them instead. They are found all across the world where they prefer to live in grasslands and woods. Lynx spiders have incredible eyesight as they lie in wait of any insects to cross their path.
In fact, they are so acrobatic that some have been seen leaping from leaves to chase their meal. As if that wasn’t enough, this is one of only a few spiders who have learned how to spit their venom. It’s not fatal to humans, but it will result in extreme swelling.
The jumping spider family has more than 6,000 described species. This makes them the largest family of spiders in the world. However, it’s the wide-jawed viciria that has got many people wondering over the years. The spiders have become recognized for a number of unique features, including its long body shape. That’s not all.
The wide-jawed viciria also has huge jaws – earning this spider its name. These jumping spiders have some of the best vision of any species as well as having incredible navigational skills as they ambush their prey. These species are commonly found across Indonesia and Singapore.
Eight-spotted crab spider
These spiders weren’t discovered until 1924 when the species was found to be living in Singapore and was swiftly named thanks to the unique spots that cover the spider’s abdomen. To top it off, they are also an incredibly brightly colored species. They are thought to be one of the biggest types of crab spiders as this species regularly grows up to one-inch-long.
However, there isn’t much research into their lifestyle. Scientists do know that they prefer to live in the branches and leaves of small trees. Sadly, it appears as though the eight-spotted crab spider might be threatened as their habitat is constantly being disturbed.
It turns out there are species of bat-eating spiders all across the world. In fact, the only place that is free from these eight-legged additions is Antarctica. 90% of these spiders live in warmer climates, with 40% residing across South America.
Most of the spiders use webs to catch their prey as they build them as large as they can to have the most chance of landing a meal. In fact, some of these spiders are so intelligent that they build their webs across the entrance of bat caves so they can catch the bats as they fly in and out of their home.
Australia, Southeast Asia, and India are home to the twig spider – a species of spider that might just be the master of camouflage. These spiders have bright green abdomens and long legs that they hold out in a straight line to make it look as though they are a twig on a branch.
In fact, the only time that many people spot twig spiders is when they move to climb to a new branch. As if that wasn’t enough already, these spiders use a y-shaped web. This means that when an insect lands on the web thinking they have found a safe place, they are ambushed by their predator.
The argyrodes colubrinus is an incredibly slender spider that is usually just one millimeter wide. However, their bodies continue to grow, making it look as though they are a long twig. These spiders spend the majority of their time living in forests where they hide from their prey until the time is right.
Rather than making large webs, the argyrodes colubrinus relies on a few strands that it hangs between twigs. They usually capture other spiders and have special toothed bristles at the end of each leg that rapidly fires out a web that it uses to wrap up its meal.
If you were looking for the Olympic runner of the spider world, then you might have found it. Wolf spiders earn their name from wolves as they don’t rely on webs to catch their prey, but instead chase it down and pounce on their meals – just like wolves.
Once they’ve captured their target, they either roll it into a ball or inject it with a potent venom that liquefies the prey’s insides. The best bit? These spiders have learned to live just about anywhere in the world, and males draw in their partners by drumming on leaves or waving their long mouthparts at females.
Heavy jumping spider
Many jumping spiders share similar characteristics. However, they all have their own unique features that give them an advantage in their environment. The heavy jumper is one of the biggest species of this spider but is still incredibly small compared to its other eight-legged cousins.
They are usually covered with white fur and found in areas with shrubs and water. The spiders have been spotted in Singapore and Thailand, but it’s not their size that earned the heavy jumper its name. No, it’s the fact that it is so precise and heavy when it jumps onto its prey – usually taking them down every time.
Once again, these spiders are mostly found all across the southern half of Australia where the scorpion-tailed spider has adapted to look just like the animal that it’s named after. Yes, this spider has a long abdomen that looks just like a scorpion’s tail that can be arched right up and over the spider’s head when it feels threatened.
Most creatures know to steer clear of scorpions, meaning the spider is typically safe from danger. They use webs to catch their food and are mainly brown, but the juveniles can be red, brown, or even bright pink before they mature to adulthood.
Although the two-tailed spider is a regular across Australia, they are normally missed and can be pretty hard to spot. This is all thanks to their incredible camouflage that helps them to easily blend in with the bark of a tree. They have two tails to help them distribute their silk with absolute precision.
These spiders hunt in both the day and night as they wait on the trunks of trees until something wanders too close. As soon as they have their prey, their web gets to work to trap their meal. If you find a gray hanging ball near one of these spiders then take caution: this is their egg sac.
There is a good reason that this spider has earned its name. That’s all thanks to the fact that it hunts other spiders. They are found across Madagascar, South Africa, and Australia where they have adapted to be one of the toughest spiders in the world.
They do this by extending their neck and jaws out by 90 degrees to capture their prey. Once they have their meal, they inject a powerful venom and hold the spider away from its body until it’s passed away. This means the assassin spider gets to enjoy a delicious meal without the worry of getting attacked or bitten by its prey.
Dolophones is a genus of spider that are typically found in Australia. There are 17 known species who are all the masters of camouflage, with the wrap-around spider being no exception. They spend the majority of their day living in plain sight.
This is because they have an inverted disk-shaped upper abdomen that helps them wrap around any branch or tree trunk. This helps to keep them safe from any predator. As soon as night falls, these spiders build impressive webs to capture their next meal before packing up and returning to their hiding place at the start of each day.
It seems as though many jumping spiders have become known as the most bizarre spiders in the world, but the Bagheera kiplingi is different. The majority of spider species eat a carnivorous diet and supplement their meals with nectar from plants. However, the Bagheera kiplingi is a herbivore.
This makes it different from any other spider in the world. The spiders make their homes on swollen-thorn acacia trees and use this as their primary source of food. Many scientists believe this spider only eats plants as the acacia trees in Mexico retain their leaves throughout the year, providing a constant source of food.
Spiny orb weaver
It might not be tough to see how these spiders earned their name as it’s the spines along their back that helped people with their name. They are typically white with red spines, but they can also be yellow with black spines or completely black all over.
Males will usually have four or five spikes while the females typically have six. They are found all across the world where they build large webs to capture their prey. Sadly, they often get into people’s homes where they cause an infestation. This is because each egg sac has up to 300 eggs which hatch in under two weeks.
This is a type of tarantula that has grown to become one of the largest in the world. In fact, some members of the family found in South America were recorded to be 12 inches wide. The baboon spiders earn their name thanks to last two segments on their legs that are said to look like a baboon’s finger.
Species of baboon spiders found in North and South America have specialized barbed hairs along their abdomens that they throw at any creature that gets too close. Sadly, other species in the world lack these hairs, meaning it’s more likely they will be attacked or bitten.
Brazilian wandering spider
As well as being highly venomous, Brazilian wandering spiders are also incredibly aggressive. Not enough? They have been named as the most venomous animal in the world, so it’s best to watch out if you find one close. They earned their name after they were first discovered in Brazil.
However, they have since been spotted all across the world. These spiders don’t use a web to catch their food. Instead, they wander the forest floor – get it? – and hunt down their unlucky prey. They often accidentally find themselves in residential areas, meaning they bit more people than any other spider. Their bite is said to be incredibly painful.
Some spiders look angrier than others, right? Well, these ogre-faced spiders are said to be the angriest of them all as they have memorable faces with large black eyes. As if their terrifying look wasn’t enough already, these spiders have also developed a unique way of catching their prey.
They make a web somewhere above the ground, but that’s only the beginning. They then spin a web they hold between their two front legs. This isn’t sticky but is enough to capture and entangle their next meal. How do they know where to land? These ogre-faced spiders leave white dots on the floor to use as targets.
Long-horned orb weaver
It can be easy to think that you are looking at a creature from another planet when you come across a long-horned orb weaver. As their name suggests, these spiders build orb-shaped webs and often sit in the middle of their handiwork. However, it was their two long horns on the top of their abdomen that earned the spiders their true name.
Believe it or not, but no one has any idea why they have their impressive additions. The spiders were discovered back in the 1700s, but there has been little research into their lives. Most people think the horns are to help deter predators and to look more impressive.
The majority of huntsman spiders are found in Australia where they are regularly confused with tarantulas thanks to their hairy legs, but they are two different species. However, they can also be found in other areas of the world – especially in hot and humid climates.
There is one thing that most people notice about this spider: their incredible size. In fact, some have been known to grow up to 12 inches wide. They love to live in narrow and hidden spaces and are incredibly fast spiders. Sadly, regular droughts or disruptive weather can lead huntsman spiders inside where many have suffered painful bites as a result.
Black armored trapdoor spider
Trapdoor spiders don’t usually grow too large as they typically reach up to 2 inches long. However, they have adapted a smart way to catch their prey without anyone ever knowing a thing. These spiders live in warmer climates, such as areas across North and South America, Africa, and Japan.
They spend the majority of their life living underground as they don’t have a web. Instead, they make a burrow that can be up to one-foot-deep. The hinge a trapdoor with their silk, so they can quickly burst out to grab their next meal. To top it off, they are highly aggressive if they are disturbed.
When it comes to the most bizarre spiders in the world, the Argyroneta Aquatica might take the crown. They are also known as the diving bell spider and for a good reason: they spend the majority of their life living underwater. Now, the majority of the spiders are so adapted to living under the water that they only return to the surface once a day to get oxygen.
So how do they do it? That’s all thanks to an air bubble. The diving bell spiders use the hairs on their abdomen to capture the air. Once underwater, they lay traps for any passing crustaceans or larvae.