This is an odd video to go “viral”

I don’t get it. It’s a half-minute long video of a black widow hanging from a bit of silk, twirling about randomly (it’s below the fold if you want to see it). It’s a pretty animal, but the behavior is strange. I’ve never seen my related theridiidae do this. They’re either in repose, waiting for their next meal, or moving efficiently and purposefully to, for instance, add to their cobweb, or attack some prey, or scurry to a safe corner. Just dangling from a single thread, that’s weird, and makes me wonder about the context. Is she sick? Has she been traumatized?

If that’s all it takes to go viral, I clearly need to get into the lab and make videos of spiders doing interesting things.


  1. jim2000 says

    Hello mester myers In my discussion with one of the evangelists, he said: (Before evolution and natural selection take place, there is a first cell. Evolution and natural selection do not take place unless there is preliminary information. Where did this initial information come from? Does nothing generate information? Give me a scientific experiment to prove it) How do I respond to it

  2. davidc1 says

    You sure she isn’t caught on a fishing line ?
    After all ,people do go fly fishing .
    Chortle ,chortle .

  3. Bruce says

    I bet that to get an action shot, someone attacked the spider with insecticide or something to get it to escape from the pollution and try to catch a breath. So it’s the equivalent of filming a guy after you slip him a Mickey in his drink or hit him with a board.

  4. says

    I’ve seen much smaller spiders (not black widows) do something similar in my kitchen. They drop down, hang for a while, climb back up, and drop again.

  5. says

    #1: Chemistry preceded evolution. The information is a product of laws of the universe. You want to argue that those laws were “created” by your “creator”? Fine, but then I’ll expect you to concede that evolution is an expected outcome.

    By the way, this was a totally irrelevant question to post here.

  6. pilgham says

    Spider videos? As long as the production values are high enough (background music) I would say go for it. Would the lighting affect the spiders though?

  7. snarkrates says

    @1, 6 Further to what PZ posts–the entire idea that “information” magically comes into being with the first cell is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of information. Information can be though of as negative entropy. Even a single atom can contain information (what state is it in? are magnetic spins in the nucleus or electron cloud aligned? Is it ionized or neutral? What is the atomic weight, species…?)

    One of the most fundamental problems in gravitation has been the black hole information paradox–related to whether the properties of the particles lost beyond the event horizon of a black hole lose all information not associated by a long-distance interaction (e.g. electromagnetism or gravity).

    DNA existed before there were cells. Many of the building blocks thereof have been found in interstellar dust clouds. All fundie dumbasses do when they ask questions like this is demonstate that they are too stupid to merit attention.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    You need a video of something with many legs crawling out of a luminous, leathery egg-thing.
    (voice on radio:”what is that Interference?”)

  9. birgerjohansson says

    The information came into being when Genie did her “boiiing” thing. Just like Zod, Zeus and Odin do.

  10. kenbakermn says

    #1: That’s comedy gold right there.

    But more to the point that’s a beautiful spider. Terrifying, but beautiful.

  11. azpaul3 says

    Just dangling from a single thread, that’s weird, and makes me wonder about the context.

    Makes me wonder where my blowtorch is … my bowl of sevin … two bricks … a howitzer.

  12. bcw bcw says

    and before there is the first cell, there are eons of thermal&chemical gradient induced stratification and local organization of chemical processes which created greater organization over time. The first “cell” may have been defined by stuff trapped in a cavity in some rocks.

  13. Waydude says

    Definitely make spider videos, but remember to go viral they have to be interesting to people, not just to spider people

  14. unclefrogy says

    I think I know what is happening in this video. Those spiders are not very active like a cat they do a lot of waiting and hiding up in their “nest/command center for something to get snared so it would be hard to get a picture let alone an action shot. She is dangling from a strand probably attached to a stick so the photographer could get a nice clear shot which he did the main reason I think that is I have myself held them just like that before I let them go and the other the spider seems way to high off of the ground and in the open a place they do not like. She is beautiful if a little dusty like she has been hassled on to the stick

  15. unclefrogy says

    I saw his comments on youtube he found her cleaning out the rain gutters that is where I would expect to find one

  16. yknot says

    @6 “By the way, this was a totally irrelevant question to post here.”

    jim2000 might have meant to post his comment to your article about the Ottos pushing unsigned articles of incoherent nonsense over at Evolution News