Sociology of Spiders

A tiny spider on a centre of an orange wall, in a halo of light

A diminutive spider accompanied by its tiny shadow had me captivated as I pondered the sociology of spiders and fear.

Spiders inspire irrational fright, despite the fact that most spiders can’t harm humans. The small percentage that can are not usually found in our homes and they don’t specifically seek us out for attack. Yet even I overreact at the sight of a spider at home (or in my swag during a recent camping trip!).

Our collective fear of spiders in urban areas is culturally determined, and it far outweighs the risk posed. Spiders feature as focus and metaphor for different types of fears in Western societies. Even amongst educated people, spiders are a source of disgust and anxiety. Why might that be the case?

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National Zoo and Aquarium

I visited the zoo!

The last White Lion seen in the wild was in 1994, in the only place where they are naturally found, the Greater Timbavati region in South Africa, where there are many white sandy riverbeds and scorched pale grass areas where they blend in well. They were reintroduced in the wild in 2001. What are their threats? “Man, man and man” says the zoo sign. They are hunted as trophies or killed when they are forced to attack livestock due to habitat loss. This is Jake. He is bored in the hot Aussie sun. Continue reading National Zoo and Aquarium