Follow for more soft nihilism.
Follow for more soft nihilism.
You can see the first moments of a huge flare belching off the sun in the pictures above. The so-called X-class flare erupted yesterday (at 7:25 p.m. EST Feb. 24, or 12:25 a.m. UTC Feb. 25) and was captured by several spacecraft.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory saw the flare growing in at least six different wavelengths of light. This eruption is classified as an X4.9-class flare, which shows that it is pretty strong. X-flares are the most powerful kind that the sun emits, and each X number is supposed to be twice as intense as the previous one (so an X-2 flare is twice as powerful as X-1, for example).
Heliophysics is the best thing.
NEED HELP… I’M… DYING…
She was collecting rocks.
Remember when I kind of had a moment and decided to tell everybody about how unexpectedly pretty weaver ants are? Probably not. That’s okay. I understand. Weaver ants probably aren’t many people’s idea of a good time, especially with them being, you know, ants and all. But anyway, weaver ants. Unexpectedly pretty, for ants.
Now, I’d like you to do something for me.
I’d like you to take a good look at the last picture, with the pretty little ant hanging off a leaf over space. Done? Yeah? Okay. Now, I’d like you to take a good look at the first and second picture, and carefully note the way that that’s actually a spider holding her forelegs up like they’re antennae, because she is a grown-ass adult and there’s nothing undignified about that at all. Done laughing yet? No. That’s cool. It is pretty hilarious to have an actual jumping spider that hunts for a living and probably has some babies running around spend her life doing the ant equivalent of using your hands to pretend to have cat ears.
(Note: You may also be screaming, because you have Strong Feelings about spiders. Please stop. She’s a jumping spider. They are the least evil of all known spiders. You have way more to worry about from the actual ant, because ants are dickholes, than the spider.)
The spider in question is known as the Kerengga ant-like jumper, because it’s a jumping spider that mimics weaver (aka Kerengga) ants. As you can see, it actually does a really good job at looking like the ants. But! It also does a pretty good job at acting like the ants, too. They walk like ants and wave their forelegs around like ant antennae and do their best not to jump when anybody’s looking.
Why do they do this? To freak you out, okay? Are you happy now? Is that the answer you wanted? Fuck you, man, she doesn’t have time for this shit. (Science’s best guess: Weaver ants are aggressive, have a painful bite, and aren’t palatable to most predators. Mimicking them helps the spiders avoid predators that want to deal with none of the above.)
So, the reason I keep specifying she up there is that these spiders are super-sexually dimorphic. You can tell the ladies from the dudes way more easily than you can tell the spiders from the ants. And the boys are actually kind of freaky, so you’re getting your tw: crazy-looking fucking spiders right here. If you were doing the tiny-screams thing over realizing that those ants weren’t really ants, you should probably stop reading now.
Well, not quite.
Fairly normal spider-face, except for the black spots that mimic ant-eyes and aren’t really eyes.
Now, the boys:
Nobody’s really sure how the fuck that got started, but clearly everybody’s still trying to finish it.
Female Kerengga ant-like jumpers mimic weaver ants. Male Kerengga ant-like jumpers mimic weaver ants carrying other weaver ants. Which totally does happen!
Weaver ants are one of those ants that occasionally double as the worst lego sets of all time.
So, I mean, this isn’t a completely insane thing for male jumpers to do, to have half their body-length made up of mouth. Right? Of course it is.
But I mean, if you’re going to have the ability to do that, you might as well go balls out.
(Note: Spiders are technically incapable of getting their balls out, but thanks to their beautiful and complicated and not-at-all-fucked-up reproductive system, wherein they deposit sperm from their testes onto a wad of silk and then suck it up into their palps for later deposit into the genital opening of a receptive female, they’re never not running around with the business-end of their reproductive system out. Out, and on their face. And capable of playing the bongo drums, if said drums were spider-sized.
Above: Spider ball-equivalents. So. You know. Moving on.)
Male Kerengga ant-like jumpers going balls out:
Yup. They use those things to threaten each other with and in mating displays. I mean, why wouldn’t you? I can’t imagine another dude jumping spider is any more likely to sleep well after seeing this than we are:
It’s not like they have mirrors and grow up more or less inured to the sight. (Note: Science is pretty sure about that one.)
So, that’s the life of the Kerengga ant-like jumper. They mimic weaver ants because weaver ants will fucking cut you, and imitating things that will fucking cut you is a pretty sweet deal in most of nature if you’re not capable of delivering said cuts yourself. They don’t bother trying to fool the ants, though, because that’s a little harder, and so they spend their lives staying the fuck away from those hive-minded little murder machines.
notes - DoReMi Fantasy (Hudson - Super Famicom - 1996)
(Source: Flickr / cementstars)
kitten wiggles ears while eating