Results for - From rare spiders to mass hysteria
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1. One of my favorite features about internet search is how you can start looking for something specific, which lets you find something related but completely unexpected. I wanted to know more about a large, weird British spider: the meta bourneti, discovered in 2013 in a cemetery. It happened to be Highgate Victorian Cemetery, the location for the Great Vampire Panic of 1970. It is home to the remains of famous people, from Karl Marx to science fiction author Douglas Adams. Did you hear any stories about Highgate before this survey?
2. In the late 1960s it was known as the home of a "King Vampire of the Undead". Through the perfect mix of teenage vivid imagination, yellow journalism, and local dueling occultists, the cemetery became home to a vampire panic that would result in corpses being disinterred, staked through the heart, beheaded, and set on fire. It was a clear example of mass hysteria. Can you mention any other massive hysteria cases?
3. The large, rare spider has I was looking for was found for the first time in London, in tombs at Highgate Cemetery. Meta bourneti are cave spiders. Meta spiders prey on small insects and woodlice. They live in total darkness. Even an outdoor night time environment is too bright for them, so the spiders never leave the tombs. A sealed vault provides a perfect breeding ground. Most of these vaults - walk-in tombs designed to house around four coffins - have not been opened for several years. The structures date from the late 1830s, so it's possible the spiders discovered have lived in the tombs for more than 100 years without being detected. The females produce teardrop-shaped eggsacs, which hang suspended on a silk thread from the roof of their dwelling. When the spiderlings first emerge they are attracted to light, unlike the adults which are strongly repelled by light. This helps the spiderlings find new areas to colonize. Can you describe any other creatures that need to live in a completely dark environment?
4. Meta bourneties measure over 30mm in diameter, leg-span included. They are amongst the largest spiders found in Britain. The population at Highgate Cemetery was estimated in 100 adults. The local Wild Life authorities mentioned that "The discovery of this important spider population in the heart of London shows just how valuable cemeteries such as Highgate can be in providing refuges for wildlife." Are there any other unusual places you know of that became an unexpected habitat for rare species?
11/19/2015 Education 1833 29 By: LBP