HomeNews & LifestyleAre These South African Sea Spiders Real Or A Hoax?

Are These South African Sea Spiders Real Or A Hoax?

And You Thought You Just Hated Spiders…

Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, is a common phobia that affects many people. Spiders often evoke fear due to their appearance and reputation. South African Sea Spiders, however, are not so scary.

Sea spiders resemble spiders in appearance, with long legs and a distinct body shape. However, they are a separate group of marine arthropods. As such, there is no need to be afraid of sea spiders. However, just because they’re not dangerous doesn’t mean they’re not interesting.

Read on to learn more about the South African Sea Spider…

Are These Images Really South African Sea Spiders??

south african sea spiders
Image: Kennedy News and Media

A father unintentionally caused panic when he shared eerie photos on Facebook, which drew comparisons to creatures from War of the Worlds. Jan Vorster, from Still Bay, South Africa, took the pictures on the beach to raise awareness of environmental issues.

However, when another page labeled the shapes as ‘sea spiders,’ confusion and fear spread. The post garnered 22,000 comments and 52,000 shares, with some mistaking the images for dangerous aliens. Eventually, an environmental scientist confirmed that the shapes were, in fact, dead aloe vera plants and not sea spiders.

The incident highlighted how perceptions can create unnecessary concern.

Are There Even Such Thing As Sea Spiders?

south african sea spiders
Image: @ananimalperday on Instagram

Yes, sea spiders, also known as pycnogonids, are a real and unique group of marine arthropods. While they may not be as well-known as land-dwelling spiders, sea spiders have a distinct morphology and can be found in various oceans around the world.

They have long, thin bodies with multiple pairs of legs, and they exhibit a range of adaptations to their marine environment. While they may look different from traditional spiders, sea spiders are a fascinating and legitimate part of the animal kingdom.

How Big Are Sea Spiders?

south african sea spiders
Image: @reb_loves_antarctica on Instagram

Sea spiders, or pycnogonids, come in various sizes depending on the species. They range in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres in length. Some smaller species may have bodies as tiny as a few millimetres. Larger species, however, can have bodies measuring several centimetres in length.

Despite their long and thin appearance, sea spiders are generally small compared to many other marine organisms. It’s important to note that size can vary among different species, and there is a wide diversity of sea spiders found in oceans worldwide.

Can Sea Spiders Live On Land?

south african sea spiders
Image: @saltsyndicatediveco on Instagram

No, sea spiders, or pycnogonids, are exclusively marine creatures and cannot live on land. They are adapted to life in the ocean and have specific physiological and anatomical features that enable them to survive in marine environments.

South African Sea Spiders have specialized structures that allow them to extract oxygen from seawater. Because of this, their bodies are ok with swimming or crawling along the seafloor. They are not equipped to survive on land and rely on seawater for respiration, reproduction, and obtaining nutrients.

So There Are No Giant Land-Invading Sea Spiders In South Africa, Right??

south african sea spiders
Image: Kennedy News and Media

No, there are no known instances of giant land-invading sea spiders in South Africa or anywhere else. Sea spiders are exclusively marine creatures and lack adaptations for survival on land.

They are specialized for life in the ocean, with structures for extracting oxygen from seawater and locomotion in water environments. While there are different species of sea spiders, none of them are capable of invading or thriving on land.

Nothing to see here from War of the Worlds, don’t worry.

Related: The Spider Tailed Horned Viper is all of your worst fears wrapped up in one.

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