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The Most Beautiful Scary-Ass Beasts in the World
May 24, 2014 4:05 PM   Subscribe

In these turbulent times, we all need to take a deep breath and think about grace and beauty. In that vein, here are the winners of the British Tarantula Society's awards from its recent Exhibition.
posted by Etrigan (46 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ooo, they're gorgeous!
posted by kyrademon at 4:18 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


The Panama Blonde is ridiculously cute. I'm glad this is a thing.
posted by solarion at 4:26 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


Tarantulas look fierce, but they are actually somewhat fragile and can be fatally injured if dropped.

Good to know.

Also, Panama Blonde sounds like the name of a Bond girl and also a cocktail.
posted by Solomon at 4:28 PM on May 24


awwww yeah whole lotta nope up in here
posted by indubitable at 4:38 PM on May 24 [3 favorites]


I love their fluffy feet (i.e. the scopula)!
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 4:38 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


There's a Blue Baboon Tarantula. I didn't need to know that and now I can't unknow it. And it's Best In Show!
posted by Anitanola at 4:45 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


NNNOPE.

Signed,
Nopey Noperski

Ok maybe I can handle a few pictures, I don't mind big spiders too muNNNOPE^W^W^W
posted by Spatch at 4:48 PM on May 24 [7 favorites]


I have no problem with tarantulas or big spiders in the least cause they're usually not venomous and big enough to see and avoid ( plus, furry!) , it's the horrible deadly wee beasties I dread.
posted by The Whelk at 5:03 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


British societies are simply the most wonderfully weird and delightful things you can imagine. They are like nerd clubs that are hundreds of years old and have great absurd formal rules that they actually follow plus tea & biscuit breaks (former committee member of the Birmingham Cactus and Succulent Society representin). You really haven't lived until you have had a show exhibit ruled out for not conforming to the standards.
posted by srboisvert at 5:11 PM on May 24 [22 favorites]


I tried holding up the pictures of the winners to our tarantula but she didn't seem too interested.
posted by octothorpe at 5:17 PM on May 24 [3 favorites]


Thankfully your tarantula is a deep soul and is looking past the beauty pageant.
posted by arcticseal at 5:26 PM on May 24 [10 favorites]


British societies are simply the most wonderfully weird and delightful things you can imagine. They are like nerd clubs that are hundreds of years old and have great absurd formal rules that they actually follow plus tea & biscuit breaks

My favorite reference librarian recently related a story to me about her interactions with a British entomological society of one stripe or another while chasing down a random patron question and it basically amounted to this, yeah.
posted by carsonb at 5:29 PM on May 24


They are gorgeous, wow.
posted by rtha at 5:34 PM on May 24


arcticseal: "Thankfully your tarantula is a deep soul and is looking past the beauty pageant."

As deep as something that has about six neurons in her brain can be.

Owning a spider is not much different than owning a house plant except for the $2 of crickets that she eats a month. She will go for days without moving an inch, some day she'll die and we won't actually know for a week.
posted by octothorpe at 5:35 PM on May 24 [10 favorites]


Who's a pretty spider?

You are! Oh, yes you are!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:37 PM on May 24 [3 favorites]


There’s a Tarantula Version of the Westminster Dog Show

I'm now picturing tarantulas getting meticulously groomed, then leashed and trotted around a tiny ring by a handler. I would totally watch that on TV. Not in person probably.
posted by Fig at 5:43 PM on May 24 [13 favorites]


Beautifully nope. To infinity and beyond, nope.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:53 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Whoops, misread the headline. I thought I was going to get to see some beautiful scary ass-beasts.
posted by codswallop at 6:09 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


The British Tarantula Society appeared in the blue previously when they announced the discovery of the largest species of tarantula ever.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:22 PM on May 24


Whenever these come up I just can't resist the urge to look at all the pretty spiders, and then follow up reading about their fascinating behavior, and find out what it takes to care for them, and the handling, while slowly building up to a big ol' crawly skin NOPE! at the end. I wonder if this is somehow related to the impulse of the perverse?
posted by calamari kid at 6:24 PM on May 24


Tarantula enthusiasts are on YouTube, if course. The saga of Sammy was gripping.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:28 PM on May 24


Codswallop, here is a spider with a scary ass.
posted by The otter lady at 6:29 PM on May 24 [3 favorites]


Mt. Diablo, 3,864 feet tall, just east of San Francisco has millions. The females live for another 25-or more years...

It's a bit depressing actually, that 10.8 mile drive up and down Mt. Diablo during the tarantula mating season - You pretty much can't avoid running over one or two no matter how slow you go or how you much you try.

The first one you see you make your friend Thom stop the car because tarantula, and the tarantula ignores you, making it's unhurried way to wherever it is going, then you keep making Thom stop the car so that you can scootch/herd them off of the road.

Tarantulas in mating mode, frustratingingly, don't respond to either scootching or herding or stomping or yelling or a car horn, though the last was probably directed by Thom at me in the hope of getting me back in the car and stop trying to herd tarantulas. They will crawl over your hand, slowly and unconcerned, if you place your hand in front of where they are going. You can use an old newspaper to move them off to the side of the road, though when you do they don't seem to understand that you are trying to help and raise their two front legs in protest.
posted by vapidave at 6:38 PM on May 24 [18 favorites]


There’s a Tarantula Version of the Westminster Dog Show

Christopher Guest should be all over this.
posted by arcticseal at 6:39 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


No, I wouldn't necessarily say the ass is the scary bit.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:03 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Aw, it looks like the BTS isn't selling car decals anymore.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:08 PM on May 24


>There’s a Tarantula Version of the Westminster Dog Show

Christopher Guest should be all over this.


I am now imagining Christopher Guest covered in spiders.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:09 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


I am now imagining Christopher Guest covered in spiders, but it starts out like that bit near the beginning of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" where they brush one or two spiders off Indy and then the guy turns around and is covered with a gazillion of them.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:23 PM on May 24


I found them so startlingly lovely that they didn't even trip my"nope" circuit.
posted by treepour at 7:26 PM on May 24


Can't wait for this years swim-hat contest!
posted by Poldo at 7:54 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


I thought the title of this was "The Most Beautiful Scary-Ass Breasts in the World"...
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:28 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


They are really gorgeous. Maybe a month or two ago there was a tarantula moulting video posted (not poor Sammy) and i ended up watching many hours of tarantula feeding videos. Way cool.
posted by annsunny at 8:53 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


no thank u
posted by elizardbits at 9:21 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


There’s a Tarantula Version of the Westminster Dog Show

I kind of want to know more about the getting-your-tarantula-ready-for-the-show aspect of things. (Not that I would ever own a tarantula, just out of perverse fascination.) Like, do you groom your tarantula, or do you just hope it does a good job keeping itself clean? Do you train your tarantula (somehow?), or just hope it's well-behaved? Are there birth records, to prove you have a pure-bred tarantula of whatever strain, or are "mutts" (so to speak) okay? (Are tarantula mutts even a possible thing?) Just how much like the Westminster Dog Show is this whole event really?

A little googling turned up the "rules" but they didn't quite answer all my questions.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:06 PM on May 24 [2 favorites]


They are when held so soft and lightweight and fragile and fuzzy and large and alien. The one I held was in many ways the antithesis of holding a hermit crab yet still kind of vaguely hermit-crab-esque in its spiderhood and furtive then bolder movements.

I would hold one again. But I don't need to buy crickets for one. Plus given octothorpe's experience, I'd probably frequently spritz it with water/shift the cage/blow air at it in paranoia that it had died, and I doubt either of us would enjoy the stress and it'd end up a high-strung spider more likely to throw an urticating hair or venomous bite my way.
posted by vegartanipla at 10:15 PM on May 24


I hope they all have pedigree dog-style names as well, like 'Eight-legged Sparkling Gold of Pembrokeshire' or whatever.
posted by ewok and chips at 1:22 AM on May 25 [15 favorites]


I want Tarantula slipper
posted by vayan at 3:17 AM on May 25


I tried to look but it turns out no

Nature is a freaky crapshoot
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:20 AM on May 25


I just went through the Sammy updates and now I'm sad for a dead spider. I did not see that coming.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:23 AM on May 25


I want to know what standards tarantulas are judged on. What makes the "Best in Show" better than the rest?
posted by drlith at 6:29 AM on May 25


Hate to go all xkcd on y'all, but "My hobby: whenever anyone calls something an [adjective]-ass [noun], I mentally move the hyphen one word to the right."

Are these spiders really the most beautiful scary ass-beasts in the world? I'm not so sure ...
posted by etherist at 6:47 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]


tarantula pageant winners should get little rhinestone tiaras and sashes.
posted by bruce at 6:55 AM on May 25


The other thing about tarantulas is that they live for freaking ever. My wife got Arana long before I met her; it's probably close to 20 years old at this point.
posted by octothorpe at 7:17 AM on May 25


This one time I got a phone call at 2 am because a friend of a friend's pet tarantula had escaped its cage and her husband was at work on the night shift. So me and my friend went over there to try and find the spider before it could bite their 4 month old child.

Of course the obvious spots had already been checked and I'm not sure I can adequately describe the horror of dropping to the floor and putting your face up to the underside of various furniture looking to see if there is a tarantula there.

Anyhow, we spent two hours looking and found nothing before my friend finally collapsed on the master bed and immediately said "oh fuck."

The spider was right there, extremely visible, on the ceiling directly above the bed. We caught it in a tupperware and went home, but that feeling of looking under a dresser and being like "I hope there's a tarantula under here but oh god I hope there's not a tarantula under here" sticks with me to this day.
posted by 256 at 9:55 AM on May 25 [11 favorites]


You are the Best Friend Ever, 256.
posted by Etrigan at 10:05 AM on May 25 [3 favorites]


No, this is the best friend forever. [NSFW]
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:05 PM on May 25


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