FUN: Spinning Spiders

Science  23 Dec 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5756, pp. 1877
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5756.1877d

Like snakes and other scary critters, spiders have inspired more than their share of superstitions and tall tales. At The Spider Myths Site, curator Rod Crawford of the Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington, squashes more than 50 common errors about the misunderstood arachnids. Take those well-meaning folks who “liberate” house spiders outside. The animals often die after release because many species that lurk indoors are as dependent on our homes as we are. Then there's the urban legend that we each swallow four live spiders per year during our sleep. In fact, there are no confirmed instances of spiders climbing into someone's mouth, Crawford says, and it's virtually impossible to swallow them unwittingly.

www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/spidermyth

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