Meet the star of this story, the jumping spiders. There are more than 5800 known species of jumping spiders to date but they’re mostly the smol, precious cinnamon rolls of the spider world. Just look at how adorbs this fella is!
Back in June, two astronomers on twitter were nerding out about how their jumping spiders office co-habitants respond to laser pointers, like cats!
What a rude cat. You’re not supposed to squish the protagonist.
Being scientists, they even tested and found out that jumping spiders seem to be more interested in green lasers than red ones! At this point, the spider-people of twitter have taken notice of the conversation, and jumped in to thicken the plot.
Apparently, our little fuzzy friends’ eyes (they sure have plenty) are built like Gallilean telescope. This arrangement allows them to have the same visual acuity as some animals like dogs, despite being way way tinier!
Some math-crunching tweets later, space-twitter and spider-twitter jointly declared that jumping spiders are anatomically capable of seeing distant objects as far as the moon. They could potentially even see the color differences on the moon’s surface, instead of just as a speck of light in the sky!
If you’re interested to read more, this The Atlantic article by Ed Yong summarizes the whole exchange better than we ever could.
Watch me flinch as I try not to drop the very mobile and clever Hyllus diardi. Aka: heavy jumper. These are my favorite finds, and I don’t think there has ever been a time where I failed to document a specimen I’ve found because they’re just so cute and photogenic! And they move like an animatronic..!
This one is a female! The males are not much different in size, but have a dramatically different appearance; being mostly black with lanky forelimbs and a noticeable lack off furriness compared to their lovely lady counterparts.