Summer is here, the temperatures are climbing, and you’ve probably felt the desire to go for a swim. Might want to think twice: a spider might also be taking a dip.
Here’s some delightful news for arachnophobes: some species of spider know how to swim! The proof was recently caught on tape by a few Texas internauts. You can see for yourself in the video above.
While the one here is happy just to swim around with impressive dexterity and ease, some species actually live their entire lives underwater. This is the case with the diving bell or water spider (Argyroneta Aquatica), who lives in Palearctic bodies of water.
This kind of spider has an incredible adaptive technique: its web is made entirely of aquatic plants. It then brings air, recuperated from the surface by its abdominal hairs, to the web. It thus forms an air bubble that serves practically as a diving suit.
In theory, most tarantulas can swim
According to the experts, it actually isn’t that rare to cross tarantulas that are also amateur swimmers. Jason Dunlop of the University of Manchester highlights in one publication: ‘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.’
But swimmers be reassured: these creatures are fortunately not harmful to humans. Besides, spiders don’t swim in all parts of the world. Theoretically, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll have any unfortunate coastal encounters this summer!