THEM! (Global Warming Edition)

Just because we’ve swapped climate change for nuclear apocalypse in our end-of-the-world imaginings, that doesn’t mean we have to give up our terror of giant spiders. At least, the folks at The Register are letting some new research unhinge their imaginations:

Høye has spent ten years studying the flesh-eating “wolf” spider Pardosa glacialis which lives in Greenland, north of the Arctic circle.

Disturbingly, the Scandinavian spider specialist reports that over that period the polar arachnids have increased significantly in size – and correspondingly increased the thickness of their exoskeletal armour plates. In just one warm year, it seems, you can see a 10 per cent increase….

But it gets worse: oh yes.

We aren’t just looking at a swarming, ravenous horde of hairy meat-eating arachnids the size of offroad vehicles. That would be easy to deal with, as a well-placed slug from a big-bore rifle would put such a creature down.


[But] spiders, as everyone knows, can actually extrude bulletproof-vest material out of their arses: True fact. And all their hard body structure is worn on the outside, as an exoskeleton, thus forming a natural coat of armour plate.

Just in case you think the Pardosa glacialis threat is being overstated here, check out what’s going on in with bird-eating spiders in Australia. Yes, global warming is making them bold. And those spiders whistle. The wolf spiders, though – they can leap onto their prey.

Oh no! They’re coming! Quick! Hide under here!