Nature

‘Terrifyingly Cool’ Video of Tarantula Seen Swimming in Texas

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In what was called a “terrifyingly cool” video, Big Bend Ranch State Park revealed that tarantulas can and do, in fact, swim. You read that right. In a Facebook video post, park officials captured the rare sighting, which then went on to capture a lot of attention.

“Did you know that tarantulas can ‘swim?’ With their legs acting as paddles, they can row across water,” the video stated. The Wednesday, October 31, Facebook video seen at the link provided here. Fittingly posted on Halloween, it quickly garnered over 3,3000 shares and 282K views in just two days after being posted. Big Bend Ranch State Park also stated that although the video did not show whether the spider completed its crossing, it did indeed make it to safety. “The current helped it drift to the side,” park officials noted.

Photo: Facebook/Big Bend Ranch State Park-Texas Parks and Wildlife

Research on the spider’s ability to swim showed that they generally float on a film at the surface of the water using a layer of air within the dense hair coating their body and legs. They can also come out of a swim being completely dry as a result of a waxy outer layer on their cuticle. Usually only swimming if absolutely necessary, tarantulas can detect humidity through hygroreceptors they have on their legs. So, there’s no question that this particular arachnid was able to tell it was in the water – likely resulting from falling in or perhaps by having been chased. Regardless of their ability, clearly it’s not for leisure, so most of us arachnophobes can rest assured we won’t be doing a stroke in the pool and have a stroke in the process when a spider comes floating alongside us.