When a man saw what looked like a cute, furry hairball on the ground, his curiosity got the best of him. Without thinking, he stooped down and plucked the ball of fur from the ground and held it in the palms of his hands. But then it started to move. As he examined it closer, he realized that he was not holding a ball of fur after all – it was a tangled swarm of daddy long leg spiders.
The video which was uploaded to Instagram last Saturday shows the man with the large black ball in his hands. The mass had gathered at the corner of a wall and was much too interesting for the man to ignore simply. That’s why he picked up the fluff and watches as it starts to disintegrate before his very eyes.
As the furball begins to move, the man learns that it is not fur at all but a collection of daddy longlegs spiders, which scurry to freedom from the man’s hands as quickly as they can once they realize they’re in danger.
Since these spiders don’t want to be hurt, they flee at the first touch when they realize that the man has lifted them up from the ground. As the spiders flee, the black mass dissolves and the legs move the spiders to freedom. By the end of the video, only a few spiders remain on his hands, which the man shakes free.
The spiders are called harvestmen, which are known popularly as daddy long legs. Once they’re out of the man’s hands, they scamper back up the wall to do what they do best – eat little critters that you don’t want anywhere near your home.
While harvestmen look like spiders, they are in fact different. They’re more related to scorpions than spiders. Instead of producing venom to kill their prey, they use brute force and other means to overpower their meals.
The Instagram video sparked a collective “eww” from the general public. People were not happy after watching the clip as they said the video footage made their skin crawl. Who can blame them? After watching this man pick up a mass that looked like it should have been a ball of harmless fur, the daddy long legs escaped in a way that looks quite disturbing.
Scientists believe that these harvestmen clustered in this way for one of two reasons. Either they were trying to appear larger to ward off predators, or they were sticking together for warmth and comfort.
Although they look like spiders harvestmen aren’t really spiders because they don’t have a specific area between the two sections of their bodies. Spiders have a constricted area between the two main body sections. Harvestmen bodies are joined directly, which is why their legs protrude right from the body.
Spiders use venom to kill their prey. Harvestmen don’t produce venom. They do have fangs but use them to kill prey like a dagger. They’re also scavengers. They also defend themselves by using a foul-smelling solution to scare off predators.
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