Tourism

Alive and Deadly: Journey into the Web of Fear

img_0617On Tuesday I tried to conquer my fear of spiders at the Australian Museum’s Spiders: Alive & Deadly exhibit in Sydney which aims to educate visitors on the inner-workings of the spider and the different breeds that live throughout Australia. I shivered and cringed about ten times; but I learned so much that despite my fear I was fascinated at how they function.

Don’t get me wrong I was still pretty creeped out because some of those spiders are HUGE and I do not want to find one in my house or tent! But now I have an informed fear of spiders meaning I’ll know what spider-type it is and how it lives which, with arachnophobia, is highly beneficial because I know how to avoid seeing them.

Except Redbacks and house spiders…they’re just everywhere…

Yeah yeah, talk about the exhibit! What did you see? Did you freak out a lot?

This…this is what I saw…
I’ll walk you through the exhibit. Just…I’m just warning you some of the spiders were ALIVE & REAL, while others were very well modeled. I won’t tell you which ones though. Sleep in fear tonight!

The picture at the top of the article is basically your phobia-nightmare welcome into the exhibit. As you walk on the floor (or not…you can be a chicken, be labeled as one forever, and walk around the floor area) the projected spiders move around your feet giving you the feeling of walking on a forest floor of mini hairy spiders. My friend and I did it; we weren’t chicken…

 

After regaining some sanity, we walked to a case that encased various types of spiders that live in Australia. Don’t worry they were dead.

Some of the spiders were REALLY tiny, while others were VERY large. The tiny ones made me giggle; the big ones made me die insider a little only because if I go up north I will see one.

After regaining some sanity, we walked to a case that encased various types of spiders that live in Australia. Don’t worry they were dead.

Some of the spiders were REALLY tiny, while others were VERY large. The small ones made me giggle; the big ones made me die inside a little only because if I go up north I will see one.

For a good part of our time at the exhibit we explored the various panels and learned about the different hairs a spider could have on its feet, the body, types of prey that are hunted, and the different sounds a spider could make.

Australia has a hissing tarantula guys…it hisses…no…

Oh and we saw a scientist milking venom from an orb spider. Here’s the highlight clip below:

I know what you’re thinking: ‘oh my goodness why?’ well, in short these milking sessions are what save the lives of not only bite victims, but cancer patients and other disease cases as well. So the scary guys save lives…

Okay, the milking was cool! What else?

 There were also live spiders. I came face-to-face with a huntsmen spider and it confirmed my fears that these guys can and will squeeze into my house like this one did.

hunstmen
These non-weaver spiders can flatten their bodies to get into tight places, including your window!
I also met a water spider, which for some reason scared me more than the land spiders.

water-spider
Water spiders catch insects and sometimes fish…scary!
There was a Sydney funnel-web spider; but you can barely seem him here. The deadliest doesn’t like to be seen how nice…

funnel-web
Sorry you can barely see him! But he was really shy and I couldn’t flash my camera at him.
It usually works out that way, that’s why Tarantulas don’t scare me as much. Big furry crawlers minding their own business are always welcome! I’ve got some more spider pictures here, as well as a couple spider models showing the different parts of a spider you wouldn’t normally see while you’re killing them (or burning down your house).

 

This is terrifying…

Oh I’ve got more: I walked through a cave spider exhibit and their shadows crawled all over me. Apologies in advance for the seemingly awkward filming. I was trying to keep them on me without freaking out.

There was also a tent spider enclosure where you could either sit or stand under the spider webs and see them. It was soothing in a way because I felt like I was enclosed in a natural habitat. And by this point…I was numb to my fear. That may have had something to do with it.

Fear not! There was a moment of nostalgia at the exhibit: you could color in a spider and take it to the scanner and then see your designed spider on the big screen!

I’m scared to ask if there is any more…

Honestly there was so much at that exhibit that you can easily spend an hour or more there and not realize it. I spent two hours here! If you are coming to Sydney, or are a Sydney native, I definitely recommend making the trip to see the exhibit before it ends July 2017.

souvenir
Be sure to pick up a cool souvenir like I did on your way out to scare your friends at home!
And after you’ve gotten rid of that skin-crawling feel be sure to check out the rest of the Australian Museum! You have to pay general admission if you aren’t a member with student tickets costing $8, and adult tickets costing $15. Under 16-entry is free. They also have family packages as well. If you are visiting Sydney soon be sure to check out my travel guide pages on public transport. You can reach the museum by taking the train to Town Hall, Museum, or St. Peters; for the bus make sure you get off at Hyde Park.

 

Be sure to stay tuned for my next adventure, and check out my Instagram account for gorgeous pictures with mini-stories to hold your adventure cravings in-between posts!

 

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