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Robert Whyte

Meet 10 Beautiful Spiders

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Robert Whyte

Are you afraid of spiders? Don’t be; these are only pictures of spiders that stand out because of their strikingly beautiful appearance. Or at least, some species of spiders that you’d be lucky to ever see in the wild. They’re always prettier when you don’t have to separate them from a screaming family member in the bathroom.

Sequined Spiders

Photograph by Doug Beckers.

Some species of the spider genus called Thwaitesia are also referred to as mirror spiders, bling spiders, or sequined spiders because of the bright and sometimes reflective jewel tones of their abdomens. This one is from Australia.

Photograph by Flickr user Robert Whyte.

Thwaitesia nigronodosa are also found in Australia.

Photograph by Poyt448 Peter Woodard.

Another species of mirrored spider is Thwaitesia argentiopunctata. These colorful spiders are found in Australia. Honestly, not all Thwaitesia species are in Australia, just the most nicely photographed examples.

Ladybird Mimic Spider

Photograph by Flickr user Vijay Anand Ismavel.

The Ladybird Mimic Spider, or Paraplectana, adopted the red with black spots look of a common ladybug. Why? Possibly it’s because ladybugs taste pretty bad, and are unattractive to predators. They are found in the tropical regions of Africa and Asia.

Spiny Orb Weaver

Photograph by Thejasvi Munishankarappa.

Spiders of the genus Gasteracantha are orb weavers. Gasteracantha dalyi are native to India and have two long curved “horns.” Those spines are not really horns, but the spider’s spinnerets. Scary looking, but still beautiful in its own way.

Ogre-Faced Spider

Photograph by Flickr user Robert Whyte.

This is the face of an ogre-faced spider, or Deinopis subrufa. Look at those beautiful blue eyes! This species is a net-casting spider, meaning it throws its web to catch prey. It lives in eastern Australia and Tasmania.

Jumping Spiders

Photograph by Flickr user Thomas Shahan.

The genus Phidippus are jumping spiders, mostly found in North America. One of the prettiest is Phidippus workmani, found in the United States. How could you resist those lovely eyes -all four of them?

Photograph by Flickr user Thomas Shahan.

Phidippus putnami is also quite beautiful, with colors that resemble a flower.

Peacock Spiders

Photograph by Flickr user Jurgen Otto.

Maratus splendens is not the only species of peacock spider, but its taxonomic name is particularly descriptive. It is certainly splendid! This species is only found near Sydney, Australia. The male of the species has a colorful flap that it raises to attract females.

Photograph by Flickr Jurgen Otto.

Maratus volens, on the other hand, is found in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, and Tasmania. Maratus spiders are a type of jumping spider. The female is a dull brown, which is just fine with the family.

See also: 5 Terrifyingly Huge Spiders, 9 Spiders and the Stars They Were Named For, and The Creepiest Spider Videos You'll Ever See.

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Animals
Watch a Panda Caretaker Cuddle With Baby Pandas While Dressed Up Like a Panda
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Some people wear suits to work—but at one Chinese nature reserve, a handful of lucky employees get to wear panda suits.

As Travel + Leisure reports, the People's Daily released a video in July of animal caretakers cuddling with baby pandas at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China's Sichuan Province. The keepers dress in fuzzy black-and-white costumes—a sartorial choice that's equal parts adorable and imperative to the pandas' future success in the wild.

Researchers raise the pandas in captivity with the goal of eventually releasing them into their natural habitat. But according to The Atlantic, human attachment can hamper the pandas' survival chances, plus it can be stressful for the bears to interact with people. To keep the animals calm while acclimating them to forest life, the caretakers disguise their humanness with costumes, and even mask their smell by smearing the suits with panda urine and feces. Meanwhile, other keepers sometimes conceal themselves by dressing up as trees.

Below, you can watch the camouflaged panda caretakers as they cuddle baby pandas:

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Animals
Watch a 40-Ton Whale Jump Completely Out of the Water
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If you’ve ever watched a humpback whale swim, you may have seen it launch most of its body out of the water and splash back into the ocean on its side or back. This behavior is called breaching, and scientists don't know exactly why the whales do it. Researchers have theorized that breaching might signal competition between males, serve as a warning to perceived threats, or stun the whale's prey for easier eating. A recent study suggested that the dramatic displays could be a method of long-distance communication.

Rarely are nature lovers lucky enough to glimpse a whale breaching completely out of the water. But in the video below—spotted by Bored Panda and filmed by scuba diver Craig Capehart off the coast of Mbotyi in southeastern South Africa—you can watch an adult humpback whale soar through the air, with its entire body and tail completely exposed.

[h/t Bored Panda]

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