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Mega Shark vs Giant British Spider
October 4, 2012 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Ecologists breed and release swarms of giant fish-eating spiders into the waterways of Britain.

The spiders were once common in the area they are being released in, though the same breed of "large fish-eating spider" has conquered parts of Wales. Contextualizing newspaper reports, giant = leg span of less than 3 inches and the fish diet consists of tadpoles, larvae and baby stickleback. There is, as yet, no newspaper comment on the prospect of one or more of the hundred remaining cod in the North Sea being eaten by the spiders.
posted by Wordshore (80 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
NOPE
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:09 AM on October 4, 2012 [12 favorites]


NOTHING CAN GO WRONG
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:09 AM on October 4, 2012 [12 favorites]


This is why people are skeptical about global warming. Because those scientists telling us to shutter big-smokestack factories, they clearly do not have the world's best interests at heart because they are breeding and releasing giant spiders. I do not know what their plan is but we need to build more factories to stop them.
posted by cribcage at 9:10 AM on October 4, 2012 [29 favorites]


Thought that said "economists" which I found very amusing.
posted by grobstein at 9:10 AM on October 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


WHAT COULD POSSI

dammit
posted by griphus at 9:10 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really don't like seeing the words giant, spiders, and conquered all together like that.
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 AM on October 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Could be worse: I thought this said *flesh* eating spiders were being released.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:12 AM on October 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


cribcage: "This is why people are skeptical about global warming. Because those scientists telling us to shutter big-smokestack factories, they clearly do not have the world's best interests at heart because they are breeding and releasing giant spiders. I do not know what their plan is but we need to build more factories to stop them."

Sadly, the only thing Britain knows how to make anymore is giant fish-eating spiders.
posted by boo_radley at 9:12 AM on October 4, 2012 [17 favorites]


Can of ants!
posted by Jpfed at 9:13 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


*rethinks applying for travel funding to the UK*
posted by thomas j wise at 9:14 AM on October 4, 2012


Aw....Waterstriders! I remember those cute guys!
posted by bswinburn at 9:25 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Could be worse: I thought this said *flesh* eating spiders were being released.

Not until they get tired of fish.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:25 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


From the article: Carmen Solan with some of the great raft spider's which she fed by mouth while they were very young.

WAT
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Shatner just had a sad.
posted by O Blitiri at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2012


And, once the giant spiders have eaten all the fish????
posted by Thorzdad at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2012


I thought they had released a giant fish - eating spiders!
posted by iotic at 9:34 AM on October 4, 2012


... which in the wild are capable of catching a stickleback.

Breed some that can eat Nickleback, and I'll import them to Canada.
posted by Kabanos at 9:36 AM on October 4, 2012 [16 favorites]


Each spiderling was hand reared in separate test tubes and fed with fruit flies.

Aww. I'm imagining them wearing little bibs. "Here comes the train!"
posted by pracowity at 9:36 AM on October 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


Robert Easton responds
posted by AugieAugustus at 9:38 AM on October 4, 2012


Head Ecologist, after a particularly long bong hit:

"Guys guys guuyyyssss, we should tootally bring back GIANT AMPHIBIOUS SPIDERS to our nation's waterways"

Other ecologists, swaying blissfully in a haze of, like, the stickiest of weed smoke ever, almost in unison:

"FUCK YEAH MAAAAAAAAN"

28 Days Later
CNN Anchor:
"The United States Air Force, Coast Guard and Navy have formed Air-Sea blockades to prevent millions of panicked refugees from the UK entering the country because they are believed to be ALL COVERED IN HUGE FUCKING WATERSPIDERS GODDAMMIT

"As we use our amazing spy satellites to witness eight-legged destruction of the once noble British Empire, our only hope is that this arachnid menace doesn't learn how to swim across the ocean.

"Meanwhile the French haven't even noticed because National Wine Patriot Month and basically everyone is drunk"

END

ROLL CREDITS [closing credits song performed by Adele while covered in waterspiders]
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:41 AM on October 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


In the future, self-replicating robotic spiders will be deployed to dispatch invasive species. It will be foolproof!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:41 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don't worry all they have to do is release giant spider eating snakes to consume them....and then come the snake eating gorillas
posted by ShawnString at 9:46 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Medieval Europe spent a thousand years burning scientists at the stake to prevent EXACTLY this kind of Devil-loving witchery.
posted by kernel_sander at 9:48 AM on October 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


ALL ABOARD THE NOPE TRAIN TO FUCKTHATVILLE
posted by elizardbits at 9:54 AM on October 4, 2012 [47 favorites]


Could be worse: I thought this said *flesh* eating spiders were being released.

I am just glad they are being released! Too long have our arachno-bretheren been held prisoner my the scientific-industrial complex! We must welcome our new allies in the fight for freedom!

Once they stop biting us, of course....
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:57 AM on October 4, 2012


Hey fish are made largely out of flesh; ergo these some flesh-eating giant motherfucking spiders.
posted by Mister_A at 9:59 AM on October 4, 2012


As spiders go, those are very pretty.
posted by Artw at 10:01 AM on October 4, 2012


I like to sometimes sit down by the river in summer and a read a book. But I always get distracted by things like these spiders. They'll stand there, on the water, looking at me.

Spider: What you doing?
Me: Just reading a book.
Spider: Oh that's cool, I wish I could read.
Me: Yeah, it's neat.
Spider: ...
Me: ...
Spider: But hey, I can walk on water. So there's that.
Me: ...
posted by Jehan at 10:02 AM on October 4, 2012 [26 favorites]


... I don't know why she swallowed the fly.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:03 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


... I don't know why she swallowed the fly.

I GUESS WE'LL ALL DIE.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:04 AM on October 4, 2012 [12 favorites]


As spiders go, those are very pretty.

That's what you think at first, and then there's a bunny in a pot on a stove.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:05 AM on October 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


::cue Crocodile Dundee voice:: You call that a giant spider? I'm on Aussie right now, and this thing here what I'm pointing at, this is a real giant spidaaaaaaaaaargh help get it off get it off
posted by wolfdreams01 at 10:10 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I once made the mistake of complaining to an Australian about a centipede that had turned up in my bathtub.
posted by Artw at 10:18 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


bswinburn, Waterstriders are insects, not spiders. Although they probably use the same highly sekrit technology to skate over the surface of the water while running down and capturing their prey.
posted by sneebler at 10:21 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA
posted by griphus at 10:22 AM on October 4, 2012 [15 favorites]


I think all of this anti-spider bigotry needs to end.
posted by cmoj at 10:25 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


jesus
posted by exlotuseater at 10:29 AM on October 4, 2012


Keeping them in test tubes seems almost... kind of... cruel? The ones in the video were huge! If you kept a mammal in an enclosure with the same space:body ratio, PETA would be all over you.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 10:41 AM on October 4, 2012


In a shocking twist, the spiders were eaten by zebra mussels.
posted by BeeDo at 10:44 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Uh oh"
posted by Wordshore at 10:49 AM on October 4, 2012


Get the flame thrower. We're going to Norfolk.
posted by Damienmce at 10:53 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Breed some that can eat Nickleback, and I'll import them to Canada.

Dude, give Avril some time. Her quest to Yoko every inexplicably popular Canadian rock band has barely begun.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:18 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


PETA would be all over you.

skittering all over you with their horrible segmented legs and scurrying under your clothing as you scream in horror but soon the wave overcomes you and all you hear is the rasping susurration of their whiskered claws brushing the insides of your ears oh my god i have successfully creeped myself out halp
posted by elizardbits at 11:23 AM on October 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


sob
posted by elizardbits at 11:23 AM on October 4, 2012


there there its ok
posted by boo_radley at 11:24 AM on October 4, 2012


We're low on fish as it is. But its not about the fish - its about saving the animal species around us.


Good stuff. Good show.
posted by mitrieD at 11:25 AM on October 4, 2012


Well, so much for that canal trip.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:40 AM on October 4, 2012


Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor --SPIDER!
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:44 AM on October 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


As Alan Partridge discovered, giant fish-eating spiders are not the only animal hazard on the Norfolk Broads...
posted by Wordshore at 11:46 AM on October 4, 2012


I hold with those who favor --SPIDER!

Awesome. Is there an internet shorthand for something that made me clap IRL?
posted by BeeDo at 11:56 AM on October 4, 2012


They're not invasive - they're being reintroduced. "Just three populations are believed to exist in the UK after they were ravaged by agricultural drainage." It's a good thing!
posted by ChuraChura at 12:21 PM on October 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is there an internet shorthand for something that made me clap IRL?

There's ROTFCIRL.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:34 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just three populations are believed to exist

THAT JUST MEANS THEY ARE REALLY GOOD AT HIDING

in your socks for example
posted by elizardbits at 12:34 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't want to visit Britain anyway, really.
posted by vidur at 12:37 PM on October 4, 2012


It's a pretty big spider but I balk at the hyperbole of 'giant'. I thought it would be the size of a VW beetle and that it would gobble sturgeon whole!

BUT I do approve of the re-introduction of an indigenous species.
posted by Mister_A at 12:41 PM on October 4, 2012


(I suppose that, having spent 3 months living in the same house as these beautiful amblypygids, I have become somewhat desensitized to things that are like spiders).
posted by ChuraChura at 12:54 PM on October 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


3 months living in the same house as these beautiful amblypygids

Wait, was this by choice?!

*barf*

*whimper*

*pee pants*
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:46 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry - amblypygids.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:51 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suppose that, having spent 3 months living in the same house as these beautiful amblypygids,


And then after the 3 months you burnt the place down, right?

RIGHT?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:04 PM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, man. Those are straight out of Starship Troopers.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:06 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only good bug is a dead bug.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:10 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fortunatly they only reached sizes of three foot or more back before we'd evolved.
posted by Artw at 2:11 PM on October 4, 2012


And then after the 3 months you burnt the place down, right?

Don't worry she brought enough here for everyone! They're just here in this ba---

oh hang on, huh.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:23 PM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


DID THEY GET OUT OF THE BAG IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY, WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD

IS IT
posted by elizardbits at 2:50 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait... hold still.

(no reason)
posted by shakespeherian at 3:02 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


This kinda reminds me of when I was a kid and my mother released a swarm of ladybugs in the garden. Except the ladybugs were adorable, these critters not so much.
posted by homunculus at 3:29 PM on October 4, 2012


GAH NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NOT GOING TO ENGLAND EVER NOPE NO THANK YOU
posted by sarcasticah at 3:59 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's difficult to see scale, but they're about hand-sized. When I initially saw them (it was dark and I just had my headlamp), I thought they were frogs on my wall.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:47 PM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


ChuraChura - What about the ones in your bed?

In your bed!

WITH YOU,
IN YOUR BED

What about those ones?
posted by qbject at 5:02 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


they're about hand-sized

NO
posted by elizardbits at 5:23 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


je refuse
posted by elizardbits at 5:24 PM on October 4, 2012


Don't worry all they have to do is release giant spider eating snakes to consume them....and then come the snake eating gorillas

Don't worry about the gorillas, when winter comes, they'll all freeze to death.
posted by 445supermag at 7:27 PM on October 4, 2012


Very cool!

Brought back memories of playing around ditches and streams and such as a tyke - loved the water spiders. Predators! Except that they aren't big enough to hurt me.
posted by porpoise at 7:29 PM on October 4, 2012


Greatest job in the world--feeding spiders through a mouth tube.

LIKE I'D EVAR DO THAT!
posted by BlueHorse at 9:03 PM on October 4, 2012


It's a pretty big spider but I balk at the hyperbole of 'giant'. I thought it would be the size of a VW beetle and that it would gobble sturgeon whole!

Agreed. I’ve got spiders that size all over my place (I think, it’s hard to tell from the articles). By sheer luck, last week I walked through the middle of a web in the dark, face first. Twice. Spider totally freaked out, flipping around my face.

They’re pretty though.
posted by bongo_x at 11:03 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure this was an episode of Doomwatch back in the day.
posted by Grimgrin at 12:43 AM on October 5, 2012


May I join the chorus of Australians giggling at the British definition of a "big spider".

If it can't eat a tourist, it's only moderately sized to me.
posted by Jilder at 4:02 AM on October 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


bongo_x, thepicture you linked to says "Gender: Pair". There's a much smaller male to the left of the bigger spider. In the Fridge part of the web.
posted by sneebler at 6:56 AM on October 5, 2012


They're not invasive - they're being reintroduced

Oh, like dragons to Westeros. No problem, then.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:46 AM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Peculiar observation: the more "local" the newspaper, the larger the quoted spider size. The Flintshire Chronicle (Flintshire is rather small) has the largest size-fact, giving the spiders a whoppingly huge, human-evacuation-mandatory, 10cm leg-span.
posted by Wordshore at 2:48 PM on October 5, 2012


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