Spiders are often quite harmless, but that doesn’t stop us from being absolutely horrified at the sight off them. They might be an instrumental part of the animal kingdom, but there is something about them that’s undeniably icky.
Yet, they truly are fascinating creatures—especially this particular spider that was recently found in China. If you can manage your fear, you’re in for a real treat!
This particular spider is actually a member of an ancient species, and documentation of it has been limited. That’s why it’s so impressive that it was finally captured on camera!
This rare spider with an unusually shaped abdomen was discovered by a Chinese orange farmer named Li Wenhua. Because of its strange shape, Wenhua initially didn’t think it was a spider at all, but some kind of ancient cultural relic.
As soon as he realized what it was, Wenhua immediately contacted his neighbors, who rushed to his property to take a look at the rare creature. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing; while experienced with critters of all sorts, this was something entirely new!
After performing a more in-depth search on the internet, Wenhua learned that the creature was actually a Chinese hourglass spider, or li shi pan fu zhu in Chinese. This was confirmed by Zhao Li, head of the Insect Museum of West China.
The Chinese hourglass spider is one of the earliest-known spiders ever documented in China. It was rediscovered for the first time in the country’s Sichuan Province in 2000, and it was seen only six other times since then. Its history is basically something out of a fantasy novel…
“The spider has very high value in scientific research. It is an extremely rare species in Sichuan,” the spider expert confirmed. “I had spend great effort trying to find it, but I didn’t see one.” This creature was just that elusive!
The oldest evidence of the Chinese hourglass spider—a kind of trapdoor arachnid—dates back to 2 B.C.E. It was mentioned in Er Ya, the oldest surviving Chinese dictionary, which was published sometime between 2 and 5 B.C.E.
Wenhua decided to keep the spider for the time being, but since learning of its tremendous value, he hoped to be able to sell the arachnid to a good home—provided the price and the conditions were right. The prospective buyer can’t be at all squeamish in order to face this creepy critter!
This Chinese hourglass spider might’ve looked different from other arachnids, but its behavior was very much the same. Like other trapdoor spiders, it made its nest underground and it used its natural surroundings to hide itself. This way, it could successfully capture its next meal without becoming prey itself.
Knowing just how rare it was, there were sure to be countless folks clamoring to adopt Wenhua’s unique-looking arachnid. It might not be warm and fuzzy, but it was truly exceptional in its own special way!
Can you believe that this farmer happened to stumble across such a rare find? These spiders don’t even look like living creatures. You never really know when you’re going come across something amazing outside. Watch the Chinese hourglass spider in action below!
This spider is pretty creepy-looking, but it’s absolutely fascinating that something so rare has been documented. What an incredible moment for science!
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