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Busting 3 Big Myths about Spiders

While it is too easy to be afraid of spiders because of their googly eyes, hairy bodies and freaky legs, majority of the fearsome things we know about spiders are actually nothing more than myths. However, since it is so easy to capitalize on Arachnophobia, a lot of people do not really care enough to help spiders clear their names. Instead, many of us would exaggerate spider encounters to make a good enough story out of it. More than often not, many of those who make such exaggerations are simply afraid of spiders so they do not realize that they are already making the stories worse than they actually are. Experts even say that spiders that lurk in homes do not have to be controlled or killed because they do not cause any trouble anyway.

In fact, spiders are really very helpful creatures. For example, the Vampire spider feeds on mosquitoes that spread malaria and dengue. Other spiders also feed on flies and other insects that can spread all sorts of diseases and illnesses. But, for the sake of those arachnids which cannot defend themselves, let bust some of the most common myths about spiders.

Myth #1: Just like how movies depict them, Tarantulas are really dangerous and deadly to human being.


Perhaps, the only real contribution of the Tarantulas to this bad reputation is their comfort with being handled and their being photogenic. Whenever Hollywood needs a spider to blow-up into a giant monster or creepy crawlies to serve as obstacles in an adventure film, those who are in-charge of the side-effects will not think of other spiders apart from the Tarantulas. These spiders are perfect for a television or movie role because they are so easy to handle and they are extremely safe for the actors and the actresses to work with. Their furry appearance also contributes to the "horror" effect of the spider characterized in the film, thus giving more impact to the scene.

However, beyond all these things, Tarantulas are actually very safe spiders. In fact, many spider lovers choose Tarantulas as pets because of their inherent tamed nature. While it is true that these spiders are venomous, the toxicity level of the venom that they produce is really not harmful to humans. The venom may immobilize other spiders, insects and very small animals, but humans have a very high threshold for poison that a Tarantula bite won't even be noticed after the initial sting felt after their fangs pierce the skin.

Nonetheless, because these spiders are hairy, Tarantula handlers may still experience skin rashes around their eyes and nose area if they handled the Tarantulas too close to their faces. But incidents as such can be easily avoided by regular washing of the hands after handling Tarantulas (well, the same is true with all other pets like dogs and cats, right?). Overall, if we compare the dangers associated to keeping Tarantulas as pets to the possible dangers of having a pet dog at home, Tarantulas would definitely turn out to be better than dogs, just saying.

Myth # 2: Pregnant spiders intentionally bite humans to lay their eggs under the wounds left by their bites.


This myth has actually caused so many people to freak out at the very moment they find out that they have been bitten by a spider. Frankly speaking, majority of the spiders that happen to bite humans (by accident) are non-toxic to us and probably, because many people are already acknowledging this fact, those who are desperate to make spiders look really scary spread this urban legend. Allegedly, some random woman who was on vacation got bitten by a spider on her cheek and after a few days, tiny spiders emerged from the wound left by the bite which apparently was swelling so much right after the incident. While this incident almost seemed like a scene from a horror film, quite surprisingly, many people believed it! However, the truth is that spider eggs barely thrives in an environment where it is not protected by a silk sac weaved by the female spider, let alone under human skin which is very expose to disturbance. More importantly, spiders avoid humans as much as possible thus this event is impossible to happen. It is still a big question why this urban legend continues to spread like wildfire no matter how many time authorities clear spiders on this issue.

Myth #3: Non-venomous spiders are equally dangerous as the venomous ones because they can still cause infections through the germs that they carry on their fangs.


This myth has been around for quite some time already but until this time, no documented case related to such has been made yet. Of course, to help spiders clear their names, scientists from Brazil conducted a series of experiments on different kinds of spiders and found out that about 36% of all the test spiders are found to have pathogens and bacteria surrounding their fangs. Nevertheless, it was also concluded that the pathogens and bacteria are sterile and will not affect humans in any way. These pathogens and bacteria might be sufficient to cause damages to small animals, insects and other spiders on which these spiders feed on, but to humans, they are harmless.


Well, so much have been said about spiders and for so long, spiders have just quietly taken the blame for almost everything nasty about having googly eyes and four pairs of legs. However, myth busters like the three given above continue to prove that spiders are just misunderstood creatures, often hated by people because hating is more convenient than actually looking deeper into their real characteristics. While we cannot change how majority of the people around the world looks at spiders, we can actually change our own personal views about them! By knowing that the most common type of phobia is Arachnophobia or the fear of Spiders, we can easily position ourselves somewhere we can help deliver a greater impact in changing how the world views spiders today.
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