Today is National "Save a Spider" Day, a day when arachnids everywhere relax and let their spinnerets down. Since I am not personally adept at saving spiders, I'm fortunate to have a husband who has honed his cup-and-paper trapping skills, so that is how we'll be celebrating. (Cup-and-paper–impaired? Try the Humane Bug Catcher.) For those of you arachnophobes who may be wondering if it counts if you watch a Tobey Maguire film, consider the following facts about spiders that you may not know of yet:
- Fans of Spyder roadsters, did you know that spiders extend their limbs using hydraulic pressure?
- Spiders eat a lot of the insects whom people aren't always so fond of, such as mosquitoes, flies, ants, and aphids. They do not, however, eat curds and whey.
- Spider webs are similar in strength to nylon, but they're much more elastic and less prone to breaking or losing their shape. I'd like them to teach the makers of my pantyhose a thing or two.
- Spiders were used in some ancient artwork to symbolize patience.
- One species of spider is actually vegetarian. (Spiders for the Ethical Treatment of Animals?)
If you're one of the Mazda or Honda drivers whose car saved a spider and you would rather not celebrate the holiday on the interstate, PETA will gladly accept your car and its inhabitants for our lifesaving work for all animals, leg count notwithstanding.
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Written by Michelle Sherrow