Looks can be deceiving. That’s a line that has been uttered here and there for decades, maybe even hundreds of years. This line seems to be truer now than ever before when looking at the Joro Spider, which is giant, yellow, and black spiders. They have spread across southern U.S . over the last few years.
Despite their massive size, a new study from the University of Georgia says that these terrifying, large spiders are actually “gentle giants” and that they’re rather timid when it comes to dealing with stress. The new study was conducted by researchers who tested the responses of more than 450 spiders to see how they would react to stressful encounters.
Results of the research showed that spiders returned to normal activity in less than one minute. The Joro Spider remained frozen for over an hour, even though the stressor had been introduced.
This discovery is intriguing because, by all rights, the terrifying appearance of this spider makes it seem as if it would attack anything that came within its range. We’ve known for a long time that the fangs of this spider are not big enough to penetrate human skin, even when cornered.
The researchers say they tested more than 30 garden spiders, as well as marbled orb weavers and banded garden spiders, and used data from previously published and peer-reviewed papers to see how other spiders reacted to stress. Researchers say the only species to exhibit any motionless freezing is the golden silk, which belongs to the Joro game spider genus.
The stressor in this particular instance was two puffs of air from a turkey baster, which was released directly on the spiders, according to SciTechDaily’s report on the study. Finding this particular survival trait on the Joro spider, which looks to be more terrifying than it is, is intriguing, though, and will no doubt only drive the interest that scientists have in these particular creatures.
Previously scientists have tried to learn more about spiders, including going so far as to translate spider webs into mesmerizing music. You can read the latest study on the Joro spiders in the journal Arthropoda. Researchers also claim that Joro Spiders have adapted so well to living alongside humans, that there’s little chance of them disappearing anytime soon.
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