NPR Likes Giant Flying Spiders That Land on Your Head. I Beg to Differ.

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Millions of giant, ungodly "hideosities" called Joro spiders are *flying* up the east coast as we speak. Some welcome them with open arms. I do not.

I just ran across an article on the NPR website that extols the virtues of one of the most god-awful life forms to ever inhabit the earth: the Joro spider – something you've probably seen in the news recently. Why are they awful? Because scientists predict that millions of these giant hideosities (made up word warning) will be flying up the east coast from Georgia, where they arrived from Japan on a freighter. Let's start with the article's title:




"No, you don't need to worry about Joro spiders. They may even be helpful in some ways"

Vanessa Romo, NPR

To author Vanessa Romo I say with the utmost respect: "Speak for yourself. There is plenty to worry about." Because if a three-inch flying yellow spider lands on my head this summer, I will have needlessly taken care of myself over the years in the hopes of living a long, (sort of) healthy life. In addition to immediate ventricular tachycardia, I figure that I'll blow about five brain aneurysms – two on the right, two on the left, and one in the middle. In the interest of good taste – always of paramount importance in my writings – I will forego any comments about the state of my underwear. Front and back.

Let's look at some more pro-spider propaganda from the article...

"But don't worry too much: Joro spiders are harmless to humans — and even do some good."

But only if they land on someone you despise.


"People should try to learn to live with them."

No. I can live with jock itch, not with these things. Fortunately, either can be treated with a product in a spray can. Just don't get the cans mixed up. 


"The palm-sized Joro spider, which has been largely confined to warmer southeastern states for nearly a decade, could soon be expected to colonize regions with colder climates."

Which is why I'm looking on Craiglist for apartments in Antarctica as you are reading this.


"That's because researchers have discovered the large arachnids, with their brightly hued blue-black and yellow striped legs, have a higher probability of surviving a brief freeze than other closely related species of the same genus."

But will it survive being drenched with a full can of Raid – something I will keep on my person at all times? 


"A Joro spider can grow to be about 3 inches long, including a large bulbous body with bright yellow stripes."

My wife screams when she sees an ant. What's gonna happen here, hmm? 


"Its underbelly has distinctive red markings"

I don't care what color its underbelly it. I don't want to see it, know about it, or even think about it. I just want the damn thing dead.


"It weaves large webs that look as if they're spun from golden silk."

Sounds absolutely delightful, that is until you walk face-first into one and start madly clawing at yourself until you look like someone fired a canon full of pimentos at your face.


"It gets its name from Jorōgumo, which in Japanese folklore can turn itself into a beautiful woman to prey on unsuspecting men."

Much like online dating.


"Despite their startling appearance ... they may be beneficial to native predators like birds as an additional food source."

I vote for a bird feeder.


"And, while they kill their prey using venom, scientists say they are harmless to people and pets because their fangs are usually too small to break human skin."

Well, that makes me feel just swell. A spider the size of a pomegranate with fangs that may be too small to bite me with poisonous venom. I can't wait to run that experiment.


"If they're literally in your way, I can see taking a web down and moving them to the side, but they're just going to be back next year. In other words, try to leave them alone."

I don't think so

Photo credits: MaxPixel, Wikimedia Commons