Jumping Spider Struggles To Hunt After Space Travel

Friday, 25 October 2013 - 1:02PM
Weird Science
Friday, 25 October 2013 - 1:02PM
Jumping Spider Struggles To Hunt After Space Travel

The Jumping Spider is a fearsome predator here on Earth. Unlike many spiders, Jumping Spiders do not hunt by utilizing webs, instead, as their name suggests, they stalk their prey using lightning quick reactions to pounce on unsuspecting victims. But what happens when you take the battle ground into space? Are the spider's abilities impacted by zero-gravity and is it able to readjust upon it's return to Earth's gravity?  Well, that was the basis of high-school student Amr Mohammed's submission for YouTube's Space Lab, a competition that gave young scientists a chance to see their experiments carried out on the International Space Station.

 

Mohammed's proposal was one of 2 to be taken to the ISS and the results are fascinating. As you can see in the video above, the precise and deadly killer seen here on Earth is just as lethal while hunting it's prey in orbit, but just look what happens when it returns to Earth. After being reintroduced to gravity back on Earth, the spider has lost almost all of its deadly accuracy. It fails time and time again to nail down it's prey, making the video look more like a miniature Benny Hill sketch than a clip from Nature's Deadliest Predators.

 

Mohammed's initial hypothesis was that the jumping spider would not be able to adapt its technique to a microgravity environment. The jumping spider proved the young scientist wrong, but Mohammed is absolutely ok with that. "I think it is boring when experiments turn out as expected or when the universe behaves when observed." Indeed, the discovery of the spider's inability to adapt back to gravity will surely have Mohammed formulating further studies.

 

Science
Space
Weird Science

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