Meet Brian: the ‘surfing’ spider that rides waves to hunt prey
A newly discovered spider named Brian can swim, rides waves and is capable of catching prey up to three times its own size
Meet Brian, a water spider really like no other.
The arachnid with a love of ‘surfing waves’ has just been discovered by researchers in Australia.
It uses vibrations, or waves, on the surface of the water to navigate and find prey in the freshwater streams of Brisbane, Queensland.
Brian can eat tadpoles, fish, frogs and cane toads, researchers say, but isn’t dangerous to humans, you’ll undoubtedly be pleased to hear.
“These spiders sit there on the water and then all of a sudden an insect will hit the water and the spider races out to get it, grabs it, dives under the water and then swims back to the shore and starts eating it,” Robert Raven, an arachnology expert at the Queensland Museum, told Mashable Australia.
He added: “I've been bitten by this spider and it’s not particularly dangerous. It just stung for a little while.”
The spider – officially known as the dolomedes briangreenei - was named in honour of string theorist and World Science Festival co-founder Professor Brian Greene.
“Physics is all about waves; understanding the universe is all about waves,” explained the professor.
“With the announcement last month of humankind’s first detection of gravitational waves - ripples on the surface of space and time - I am particularly honoured to be so closely associated with a spider that has its own deep affinity for waves.”
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk added: “It's wonderful that this beautiful native spider, which relies on waves for its very survival, has found a namesake in a man who is one of the world's leading experts in exploring and explaining the effects of waves in our universe.”
In more creepy arachnid news, you probably wouldn’t want to encounter this spider named the Cryptomaster Behemoth in a dark and lonely forest.
The ‘monster’ spider with the terrifying name was discovered by researchers in the forests of Oregon in the US.
But would it win in a fight against this massive Huntsman spider spotted lurking behind a door? Probably not.