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Molt
March 21, 2014 3:32 PM   Subscribe


 
I don't care what anyone says, spiders are not supposed to have hair.

Fascinating video. But still.
posted by zarq at 3:35 PM on March 21


I actually really like spiders, but that just ain't right.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:37 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


I'm going to molt in October! We're having a few friends over, and we're going to drink some wine and maybe eat a few passers-by.
posted by sneebler at 3:40 PM on March 21 [16 favorites]


The video was neat, but — Sweet Zombie Reagan — the soundtrack creeped me right out.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 3:46 PM on March 21 [7 favorites]


It's a shame they cut out a bunch of it. There's a time an a place for flashy MTV editing. This ain't it.

(BTW, for a sense of scale, look for the skateboard.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:50 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Yeah, man, I think spiders are super neat and I would've been down to watch a tarantula molt but holy shit, that sound design was creepy and upsetting, and not in the way you'd think.
posted by Sokka shot first at 3:51 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


It would be kind of cute if it wasn't so horrifying
posted by crayz at 3:56 PM on March 21


Was that the soundtrack from Chris Cunningham's 'Rubber Johnny?'
posted by rock swoon has no past at 3:57 PM on March 21 [10 favorites]


N.B. this natural phenomenon informed John Mayer's song "Bigger Than My Body".
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:58 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


I don't like spiders. I am now curious as to how the moulting process actually works.

But dear god, that voiceover!
posted by Solomon at 4:03 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


Remember what Mr. Halloran said. It’s just like pictures in a book, Danny. It isn’t real.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:05 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Was that the soundtrack from Chris Cunningham's 'Rubber Johnny?'

Well spotted, rock.
posted by progosk at 4:06 PM on March 21


I got to hold one of these spiders for two hours as part of an outreach day. Basically I went around showing kids just how sweet and fluffy a tarantula could be! What most folks don't realise about these tarantulas is how velvet-soft their under-side is, and how fluffy their feet are. It was like holding a very heavy powder puff!
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 4:07 PM on March 21 [6 favorites]


Don't talk to spiders about injections. It gives them ideas.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:10 PM on March 21 [6 favorites]


For those of you who were wondering, but were afraid to click:

nope nope nope nope nope nope nope.

Don't.
posted by poe at 4:13 PM on March 21 [6 favorites]


Far less disturbing than the Rubber Johnny video itself.
posted by grumpybear69 at 4:33 PM on March 21


You guys think the actual soundtrack was upsetting?

I opened the video and had "Baby Love" by Mother's Finest playing in another tab. My brain could not handle it. I've never laughed and yelled "holy shit, no" in just that particular way.
posted by sendai sleep master at 4:34 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


What the hell kind of artistic choice was that
posted by Existential Dread at 4:44 PM on March 21 [5 favorites]


I thought it was really pretty. Probably better watched muted, though.
posted by codacorolla at 4:49 PM on March 21


I had one of these lovelies crawl up my arm at the LA County Museum of Natural History bug fair. It was a fantastic experience, feeling its little velcro feet walk up my arm. Check it out if you are in Los Angeles. Spiders are so cool.
posted by effluvia at 4:57 PM on March 21


What most folks don't realise about these tarantulas is how velvet-soft their under-side is, and how fluffy their feet are. It was like holding a very heavy powder puff!

They can also shed those fluffy soft urticating hairs in an instant as a defense mechanism. They're so pointy sharp that they embed themselves in exposed soft tissues and cause everything from localized swelling to hypersensitivity reactions like ACD to irritation via immune cascade. It's deadly stuff for things at tartantula scale, but less serious for humans.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 4:58 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]


It would be kind of cute if it wasn't so horrifying

Revolting molting!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:13 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


They're so pointy sharp that they embed themselves in exposed soft tissues and cause everything from localized swelling to hypersensitivity reactions like ACD to irritation via immune cascade. It's deadly stuff for things at tartantula scale, but less serious for humans.

Unless you get 'em in your eyes. Then you're pretty screwed.

The first couple of seconds were actually kind of cute, and then it got really creepy really fast.

Also, when I had a pet tarantula, molting was always really nerve-wracking, because it's such a stressful process for the poor things that sometimes they die mid-molt.
posted by infinitywaltz at 5:52 PM on March 21


The soundtrack was weird but it's neat to see the molting in action. We've had a tarantula for decades now and have never actually witnessed her molt. You just look into the tank one day and see two spiders in there instead of one.
posted by octothorpe at 6:12 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


I wish infinity waltz didn't tell me about what molting was like for the tarantula itself.

Because: the video, with its emphasis on the word MOLT made you think: wouldn't that be nice if we could molt? If we could shed our bodies for a new one (or for some of us, shed our body/mind for a new one: fresher, more dynamic, more enlightened, and, again, NEWER…and newer is better, isn't it?). Of course, this is Buddhist heresy. We suffer and die. But, still: molting: a refreshing concept, not one unexplored by sci-fi writers…PKD…maybe, I'd have to go back over his writing with a fine-toothed molting comb, but I know he slipped this concept in there; I mean: entropy was an obsessive motif for him, so this "cure" for entropy was certainly in his body of work!
posted by kozad at 6:18 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]


Welcome to Night Vale.
posted by allthinky at 6:18 PM on March 21


If anyone wishes, here's a less heavily-edited timelapse of Grammostola rosea molting (albeit it still has a gratuitous heavy-metal soundtrack).

It looks stressful as hell! I'd always imagined that molting would feel a bit like a massively-amplified, full-body version of the relief that one feels upon taking one's shoes off at the end of a long day. Instead it looks more like giving birth to your own entire body, complete with convulsive contractions and a sense of profound exhaustion afterward. No wonder the poor dears sometimes die of the stress.

Also, imagine if every so often you had to give birth to a gigantic, hairy spider. OK, now stop imagining it.
posted by Scientist at 6:20 PM on March 21 [8 favorites]


Hey spid, no littering. Trash bugs of the jungle is what they are.
posted by angerbot at 6:30 PM on March 21


Here is my story: at the age of five, I and the rest of my kindergarten class sat, enthralled, as my teacher read the story of Charlotte's Web. And, from that day to this, I can't look at a spider without thinking, "hello, friend."
posted by SPrintF at 6:40 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]


Thanks, Scientist! I really wanted more moulting, less soundtrack.
posted by annsunny at 8:05 PM on March 21


What most folks don't realise about these tarantulas is how velvet-soft their under-side is

Also, hair stiff, sharp and allergenic enough to cause medical distress when it uses its hindlegs to shed it at you at weaponized velocity!

Also, it bites.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:16 PM on March 21


It talked! Ittalkedittalkedittalked aaaAAAH!
posted by eggkeeper at 8:29 PM on March 21


(Quit at second 4, couldn't take it)
posted by eggkeeper at 8:31 PM on March 21


A lot of people on Metafilter are terrified of small harmless creatures.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:42 PM on March 21


I like the way it seemed to doublecheck that all its legs were still there at the end. I've always thought it must be difficult to keep track of them all when you have eight.
posted by lollusc at 8:43 PM on March 21


THERE WAS A SPIDER INSIDE THE OTHER SPIDER
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:05 PM on March 21 [8 favorites]


I remember reading somewhere that people find large spiders frightening because they remind us of severed hands, though they're not, sliding into the uncanny valley with too many legs and too much hair. I don't know if that's true.

It's as good a reason as any for the Christopher Walken type "Ghaaaaaa" I emitted while seeing this.
posted by cmyk at 9:08 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


They can also shed those fluffy soft urticating hairs in an instant as a defense mechanism.

late afternoon dreaming hotel, the urticating hairs are the ones on their dorsal side. The ventral side is truly velvety soft and not at all dangerous. Trust me. I'm a scientist.
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 9:38 PM on March 21 [4 favorites]


Spiders (maybe not tarantulas so much): Their chief weapon is surprise.

In Australia, I stayed in a house with a roach problem, meaning there were huntsmen. They're harmless, just hang out on the wall, whatever. They're also frigging gigantic, which was a bit disconcerting at first, but I got used to that soon enough. What I didn't get used to was their habit of popping in or out of existence whenever I turned my head. It's not really scary so much as maddening.

And, really, that's the only freaky thing about spiders, as far as I'm concerned. They've apparently evolved speedy and silent locomotion for the specific purpose of startling me.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:42 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


Man, now I can't stop thinking how revoltingly cool would it be if the new Godzilla movie has some of the monsters molting. I imagine it would be a nightmare for the CGI people though.
posted by Iosephus at 12:23 AM on March 22


I can't sleep because I watched the video of the fuzzy little bear with too many of all his parts.
posted by univac at 2:12 AM on March 22 [5 favorites]


Molts in your mouth, not in your hand.
posted by hat_eater at 4:42 AM on March 22 [4 favorites]


Iosephus: that's a really cool idea! I can't think of a monster movie that's done that, which seems surprising. It's not Godzilla-specific, but I can imagine a scene with some explorers in a cave stumbling upon the molt of a truly monstrous spider. In real life whenever I discover a large spider molt (wolf spiders mostly, around here) there's always a moment of heightened alertness when I think I might have discovered the spider itself, followed by a sort of relieved curiosity upon realizing that it's just an inert shell. I can imagine that effect scaling up well for Shelob-sized spider molts, plus there'd be an extra inversion when the actual, living spider scuttles up out of nowhere and eats one of the protagonists just when they think they're safe.
posted by Scientist at 5:30 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]


The Metamorphosis, Part 2: Electric Bugaloo

"As Gregor Samsa awoke the next morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a slightly more gigantic insect."
posted by drlith at 6:23 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]


I had one as a class pet for around 12 years.... She molted a couple of times when the kids were there to watch, and they were young enough that they didn't know that it was supposed to be creepy or whatever. I've had quite a few kids, mostly girls, come back and tell me that they're afraid of spiders now... After a year of interacting with a huge spider in my class. Sigh.

Another interesting thing is that they don't eat for as long as a year before they molt.
posted by Huck500 at 9:18 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]


I'm concerned now that just the callback to Rubber Johnny is going to do to me what the original did to me on first viewing. That was a creepy day I spent trying to shake that one off.
posted by argybarg at 10:22 AM on March 22


Here's Rubber Johnny, for those of you who haven't seen it. It's kind of proto-creepy-pasta, with an Aphex Twin soundtrack.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:25 PM on March 22


I liked it, but then I had to see Rubber Johnny. I like Rubber Johnny more than I like spiders.
posted by Goofyy at 10:12 AM on March 23


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