- A video resurfaced of a tarantula swimming.
- Apparently, all tarantulas can swim, but it’s not a preferred form of transportation for the creatures.
- Tarantulas are relatively harmless, though.
- But that doesn’t mean people aren’t freaking out.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Tuesday, a lot of people figured out that tarantulas can swim. That’s right, in a video resurfaced by Cosmopolitan, a lone hairy, eight-legged arachnids can be seen enjoying a brisk, summertime swim in a pool of water.
The video, which was captured last year in Big Bend Ranch, a Texas state park, shows a tarantula spider-paddling through murky water. The video was first posted in November 2018 and raked in over 420,000 views and nearly 4,000 shares.
It’s a bit of a surprise to many that they can swim, and people aren’t taking it well. On the original Facebook video, many of the 1,200 comments are of a horrified opinion with one person writing “yeah no you guys can go to the beach alone” and another writing “even the water isn’t safe.”
But swimming tarantulas are a totally normal thing, according to this paper by the University of Manchester’s Jason A. Dunlop. Tarantulas have been found to “swim” in both the wild and captivity, using their front legs as paddles to “row” on the surface of the water. They won’t be deep diving, but they can paddle.
But, fear not, Dunlop said that tarantulas often only paddle in the face of an emergency, like being chased by a predator or accidentally falling into a body of water. He noted that they are not particularly fond of large bodies of water and that a tarantula’s innate ability to paddle in the water might have saved them in the case of an unexpected flood. Basically, they will swim if they have to, but they don’t really want to.
While this information might not be comforting to arachnophobes, it is important to remember that tarantulas are harmless to humans, aside from a painful bite. In case you run into one of these creepy-crawlers during your lakeside swim (which is not probable), remember that these teacup-sized creatures have venom that is milder than a bee’s, according to National Geographic.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.