:Facts and Folklores about spiders
Facts and Folklores About Spiders
The earliest spider fossil discovered in the world is over 360 million years old.
The oldest Australian spider fossil discovered is over 120 million years old.
Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders and is one of the most common fears among humans.
The name Arachnida was named after Arachne, a woman in Greek mythology who challenged the goddess Athena to a weaving contest. Having lost the competition, Arachne was turned into a spider and spent the rest of her life spinning silk and making intricate webs.
It is bad luck to kill a spider and will bring poverty to the house.
Spiders were used in old potions to cure illnesses such as gout, whooping cough and asthma.
Another old tale was that jaundice could be cured by swallowing a live house-spider rolled in butter.
A widespread folk tale often told in Europe was that Mary took baby Jesus into a cave to hide and a spider spun a web at the cave's entrance, fooling the pursuers that no one had recently entered the cave. A different version of the same tale has Mohammed hiding in a cave after he fled from Mecca. In India the spider is associated with Maya, the weaver of illusion.
The spider is associated with the number eight as it has eight legs and the body of a spider being in two parts often has the appearance of the figure eight. The figure eight on it side also is the symbol of infinity.
Frederick the Great (King of Prussia from 1740-86) was said to have been saved by a spider when it fell into his cup of poisoned chocolate while he was staying at Sans-Souci (Royal Palace in Brandenburg, Germany). He called to the cook to make him another fresh cup of chocolate but the cook thought he had discovered the plot to poison his drink and rather than face the King he shot himself. On the ceiling of the room in Sans-Souci it is said that there is a painting of a spider in remembrance of the event.