You’ve probably seen the Spider Man movie – where Peter Parker’s spider-powers come from a radioactive spider bite.
While the idea of a research lab gathering different spider species might seem absurd (at first), there is some evidence to suggest that a spider farm might not be such a far-fetched idea after all.
A spider farm, as the name suggests, is a facility where spiders are bred and studied. While there is no record yet of an official spider farm, there are a number of private collectors who maintain large spider populations.
The farm itself is usually a large enclosure that is divided into sections for different spider species. Within each section, spiders are kept either in individual cages or in large communal webs.
Reasons Behind the Existence of these Spider Farms
Various spider species are studied in order to learn more about their behavior, venom, and other characteristics. Scientists hope that by understanding how these creatures work, they can develop new ways to treat spider bites, create better pest control methods, and even develop new medical treatments.
Up to date, some research facilities try to understand how spiders, their venom, and their silk can be used. Spiders and their silk are both known to show great potential, and scientists are hoping for more applications in the near future.
New studies have suggested that some spider venoms can aid with pain relief. The London Science Museum had a demo showcasing how a tarantula’s venom has been milked and used to create a new painkiller that is said to be 10 times more effective than morphine.
This can be a legendary breakthrough that can save many people’s lives through spider venom. Imagine that!
Considering there are over 38,000 species of spiders in the world, there’s a good chance that some of them are quite rare. There are a number of breeders who specialize in rare spider species and sell them to collectors or other breeders.
Breeders from different parts of the world either travel to meet up and trade spiders. Some people, who are particularly fascinated by spiders, even have designated groups or clubs where they can share their knowledge and love for these creatures.
You may find it pretty weird, but these kinds of organizations do exist. Their members often have very deep discussions about the different species of spiders, their behavior, and their ecology.
It has also been found out that some people may breed tarantulas – and make a good amount of money from them. Although it may sound frightening, as these are the biggest spiders in the world, some people actually keep them as pets.
The demand for spiders, whether it be rare breeds or the more common ones, continues to grow. So, it’s not surprising that there may be a few facilities out there that are dedicated to breeding and housing these eight-legged creatures.
Did you know that spider silk is considered to be one of the strongest materials in the world?
Depending on the species, some spider types may produce multiple types of silks. Spiders, in general, use their silk (or webs) to build their homes, catch prey, and even wrap up their young.
It is made of protein and is extremely stretchy and tough.
Additionally, spiders also use their silk to swiftly transport from one place to another, while others use it during the courting process.
For humans, spider silk can also be used in various applications, and it is known and said to have amazing skin-healing properties.
Additionally, there have been some studies, although not conclusive, that spider silk also contains antibacterial properties, with the ability to clot blood and close wounds, thanks to its Vitamin K and protein content.
Surprisingly, because it’s considered to be a tough fiber, its application may also extend to using bulletproof vests.
It has the ability to withstand four times the impact of Kevlar, which is the material usually used for bulletproof vests. Its stretchy material, surprisingly, can also absorb the pressure of a bullet.
While there are many potential uses for spider silk, the main challenge that scientists face is trying to mass-produce it. Additionally, the use of these spider silks is continuously being studied in hopes of finding even more potential applications for this amazing material.
On a general note, spider farms serve a very important purpose, whether it be for research, pharmaceuticals, or even for breeding rare spiders.
There’s no official farm or organization that specifically deals with spiders, but there are a number of experts and enthusiasts who have made it their life’s work to study these creatures.
A spider farm doesn’t necessarily have to be a large room or facility. It can be as small as a terrarium. As long as it’s able to house the spiders and provide the necessary environment for them to thrive, then it can be considered a spider farm.