In Spider Society, Female Spiders Are Either Warriors or Nannies

It's a question we've been avoiding for far too long: Can lady spiders really have it all? Well, unless by "have it all" you mean "munch all of the human eyeballs" (a birthright shared by spiders of all genders), then NOPE. In at least one species, female spiders, much like female humans, are expected to choose… » 6/17/14 5:33pm 6/17/14 5:33pm

Hidden in This Beautiful Jewelry is a Secret Drug-Science Reference

Much as we love the present trend of sticking drug-molecules on everything from coffee mugs to t-shirts, we crave something new. Fortunately, science-themed artist Delftia has a novel take on subtle drug jewelry: pendants that replicate spider webs spun under the influence of psychoactive drugs. » 4/18/14 3:19pm 4/18/14 3:19pm

These spiders build statues of themselves using leaves and dead bugs

Did you know that there is a spider that spends its time building lifelike spider effigies out of discarded leaves, twigs, and dead insect bodies? Now, however frightened you are, take that and multiply it by two. Because there are actually two entirely separate species of spiders, both independently building spider… » 1/21/14 1:24pm 1/21/14 1:24pm

Male Spiders "Shudder" to Calm Their Cannibalistic Brides

For some male spiders, sex can come with a very high price: Death. How, then, do they get it on without becoming their cannibalistic mate's snack? Scientists have found that male orb-web spiders save their skin by performing a smooth move called the "shudder," which has the amazing ability to reduce female aggression. » 12/19/13 12:30pm 12/19/13 12:30pm

Watch the epic first 3 minutes of Big Ass Spider right here, right now

Oh Big Ass Spider, you are the new Sharknado — but instead of being an unwatchable shark-filled tornado flick, you are a highly enjoyable giant-spider movie that knows exactly what it's doing. So check out the first three minutes of the wondrous movie that is Big Ass Spider (set to a fantastic cover of the Pixies'… » 12/18/13 12:43pm 12/18/13 12:43pm

A black widow story that'll make you shake out your sheets tonight

Inspired by Jackson Landers’s recent piece on black widows at The New York Times, It's Okay to be Smart's Joe Hanson decided to relate the story of his own harrowing encounter with the iconic arachnid. "It's all true," he writes. "This happened fifteen years ago, and I remember it like it was yesterday." » 9/19/13 1:20pm 9/19/13 1:20pm

We have absolutely no clue what built this crazy-complex structure

It's incredible, really. It features a central spire and an encircling picket-fence that's been reinforced by horizontal rails, and is strung together by a series of radially oriented guy wires. An impressive edifice at any scale, the structure measures less than 2 cm across. And here's the real kicker: nobody knows… » 9/03/13 8:00am 9/03/13 8:00am

Spider from 'The Giant Spider Invasion' stolen & sold for scrap

It is a sad day for MSTies, cheeseheads, and bad movie buffs, as the rusting framework of the incredibly realistic giant spider from the low budget 1975 movie The Giant Spider Invasion has been stolen out of a field in Merrill Wisconsin (where the film was made), and sold for scrap at a local recyclers.

You can watch… » 8/30/13 12:29pm 8/30/13 12:29pm