Being an arachnophobe myself, I can tell you that this is both truly terrifying and fascinating news. If you thought Spider-Man was the most advanced spider species out there, think again. A newly discovered species of arachnid that can swim, eat fish and devour toads has been found. And where has it been discovered? Australia! Because where else on Earth would a shit-scary spider be living?
However, what makes the “minibeast” a little more adorable is the fact it’s been named dolomedes briangreenei… Or Brian, for short.
The eight-legged critter was named after physicist Brian Greene and is as large as the palm of your hand. Like most spiders, it feeds on insects although it is capable of killing creatures up to three times its size.
“Brian” lives predominantly on fresh water streams near the Brisbane area, and locates its prey by feeling their vibrations through the water. Incredibly, the spider then takes a firm hold of its prey, before diving underwater with them. After wrestling with its meal, it then swims back to shore to devour their victim.
Thankfully, the “super-spider” is not dangerous to humans. As Robert Raven, Principal Scientist of Arachnology at the Queensland Museum, told Mashable Australia: “I’ve been bitten by this spider and it’s not particularly dangerous. It just stung for a little while”.
Find out what happens if you don’t double check your shoes before putting them on in Australia…
The spider’s namesake, Professor Brian Greene, also revealed how proud he was to have the critter named after him.
“Physics is all about waves; understanding the universe is all about waves. With the announcement last month of humankind’s first detection of gravitational waves — ripples on the surface of space and time — I am particularly honored to be so closely associated with a spider that has its own deep affinity for waves.”
Greene is also the cofounder of the annual World Science Festival and spoke briefly about his main aim for the event.
“The goal [of the festival is] quite simple; to create a new experience of science … to have a place where young and old, novice and experienced can come in and experience science in a way that feels compelling and dramatic — not intimidating — and utterly inspiring.”
Oh, and here’s why you should ALWAYS check your shoes before putting them on when living down under…
As for Brian (the spider), one of him will soon be visiting the Queensland Museum where he’ll be put on permanent display.
If you’re terrified of spiders, don’t prolong your suffering. You could conquer your fear of spiders in just TWO minutes.