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Underwater Spider Spins Itself an Aqualung

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the later-i'm-out dept.

Science 91

sciencehabit writes "In the ponds of northern Europe lives a tiny brown spider with a bubble on its back. The 10-millimeter-long Argyroneta aquatica is the only spider in the world that spends its entire life underwater. But just like land spiders, it needs oxygen to breathe. So every so often, it leaves its underwater web home to visit the surface and brings back a bubble of air that sticks to its hairy abdomen. It deposits the bubble into a little silk air tank spun for the purpose. This 'diving bell,' researchers have now found, is not just a repository. It's actually a gill that sucks oxygen from the water, allowing the spider to stay under for up to 24 hours."

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underwater spider in my pants (1)

slashpot (11017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405012)

I have an underwater spider in my pants.

Re:underwater spider in my pants (0)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405026)

So that was what the tiny bulge in your pants was?

Re:underwater spider in my pants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405566)

Ew, you looked?

Re:underwater spider in my pants (1)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406134)

Ew, you looked?

Probably not voluntarily, but hey, when it's a tweet from a congressman, you can't NOT look.

Re:underwater spider in my pants (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 3 years ago | (#36407784)

That's what she said?

Queue Jethro Tull Jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405020)

In 5....4...3...2

Re:Queue Jethro Tull Jokes (3, Funny)

2names (531755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405030)

I saw one while I was sitting on a park bench.

Re:Queue Jethro Tull Jokes (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405264)

I was eyeing one with bad intent

Re:Queue Jethro Tull Jokes (2)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405950)

This joke feels like a dead duck.

Re:Queue Jethro Tull Jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36407008)

Who would steal the joke from a laughing slashdotter's mouth if he could take it from the ... ?

Re:Queue Jethro Tull Jokes (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 3 years ago | (#36407284)

I was too busy at the bog warming my feet

Re:Queue Jethro Tull Jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405360)

DAH dah dah dah DAH DANT!

Only 24 hours? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405054)

If it's a "gill", why is the bubble only good for 24 hours? Does it also diffuse back into the water over time, thus shrinking it?

Re:Only 24 hours? (4, Informative)

milkmage (795746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405124)

here's a hint. the answer to your question is in the article

"The researchers decided to try out a new technology: a tiny fiber-optic oxygen sensor called an optode. Only 15 micrometers in diameter, the optode was small enough not to rupture the diving bell when the researchers poked it through the webby membrane and measured how gases move across the bell's surface. The bell, they found, functions like a gill: As the spider removes oxygen from the bell by breathing it in, more oxygen flows in to take its place. This gives the spider a constant oxygen supply without requiring it to venture to the surface often. But after about 24 hours.....

Re:Only 24 hours? (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405136)

Apparently the water pressure threatens to crush the bell after 24 hours.

Re:Only 24 hours? (1)

RemyBR (1158435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405430)

From the article:
>But after about 24 hours, water pressure on the silk begins to collapse the bell, so the spider makes a break for the surface to grab another bubble.

Re:Only 24 hours? (1)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405570)

Third paragraph of TFA:

But after about 24 hours, water pressure on the silk begins to collapse the bell, so the spider makes a break for the surface to grab another bubble.

Re:Only 24 hours? (1)

Opyros (1153335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36408294)

According to Not Exactly Rocket Science [discovermagazine.com] :

The spider could live in its bubble indefinitely, were it not for the fact that nitrogen tends to diffuse out of it. This means that the bell eventually shrinks. It's why the spider still has to travel to the surface periodically to top up its home, and prevent it from collapsing.

Yeah, and old news ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36409598)

It's old news that these aquatic spiders use gas diffusion to extract oxygen from the water. (Maybe the measurements done here are more precise--but the original article is behind a paywall, alas.)

A good explanation about nitrogen diffusing out of the bubble is found here (from possibly 2004): http://www.hansthiele.de/galerie/sonst/w-spinne.htm [hansthiele.de] . I'll do a quick transcription.

The bubble (like the air) contains about 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen. The proportion of these gases in the water is about the same (1/5th O2, 4/5th N2; N2/O2 ratio of 4:1).

This is the breathing cycle:

  • spider uses O2, releases CO2
  • the CO2 readily dissolves in water and leaves the bubble (it is of no further concern here)
  • as the partial pressure ("relative amount of") of O2 has been lowered in the bubble, O2 from the water diffuses into the bubble, replenishing this resource

This cycle repeats; but since the spider uses slightly more O2 than is replenished, the N2/O2 ratio increases, that is, the bubble contains now more than 78% N2, thus the partial pressure of N2 is higher in the bubble than in the water: N2 diffuses out into the water. And since N2 is the main component of air, it makes up most of the bubble's volume. The bubble shrinks and, as such, becomes less efficient in gas diffusion. (Actually, since the surface area increases relative to it's volume, it becomes more efficient in relative terms, but there's too little air (N2/O2 mixture) left for the spider to breathe in absolute terms ...).

On another note, I loved to play with the spiders in our garden pond when I was a child. They were really rather cute, but somewhat helpless once transferred to land ... but they never bit me; I read about their bite just a few years ago when I remembered about the old times and decided to read some stuff on these sweet eight-legged fellas.

Aquaman (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405078)

You know that's actually very awesome, more awesome than Aquaman then again it's not hard to be more awesome than Aquaman.

Re:Aquaman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405192)

He's a blast from the past that won't be the last,
To be the one that is the champion,
He's not batman, he's not superman,
He's AQUAMAN, he keeps it real,
as real as steel, he's the raw deal!!

Re:Aquaman (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405292)

shut up namor. you're just jealous

Re:Aquaman (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406068)

oh you're here? shouldn't you be having sex with a dolphin or something or maybe harassing a whaler?

Re:Aquaman (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406088)

lol

rock star spider (3, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405150)

Sitting on a cob web
eyeing minnows with bad intent.
Water running down his setae
greasy palpae smearing mandibles.
Floating in the cold lake
Watching as the silly tadpoles run.
Feeding on a dead duck
spitting out pieces of his broken web.
Aqualung!

Re:rock star spider (1)

Chris Brewer (66818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36408340)

Dammit, the one time I don't have mod points. The riff was the first thing to pop into my head when I read the headline, so kudos to you, sir.

Evolutionary Path (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405250)

Sometimes I like to try to guess what the evolutionary path of certain animals could have been.

This is one case where I go "WTF?".

Re:Evolutionary Path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405298)

I shudder to imagine the world, 2 billion years from now, where spiders out-evolved everything.

Re:Evolutionary Path (1)

oddtodd (125924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406950)

Somewhat of a spoiler, but you should read A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge.
Highly recommended.

Re:Evolutionary Path (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 3 years ago | (#36415724)

Actually, a better book mentioning the future evolution of spiders is Marooned in Realtime. Also by Vernor Vinge, as it happens.

Re:Evolutionary Path (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405488)

Probably started out eating water-surface insects, then learned to dive after swimmers/larva. Which it had mostly to itself in many cases, and surfacing brings it into range of predators that handle a wide variety of spiders, so at that point the push is to stay underwater longer.

Re:Evolutionary Path (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405746)

Probably started out eating water-surface insects, then learned to dive after swimmers/larva. Which it had mostly to itself in many cases, and surfacing brings it into range of predators that handle a wide variety of spiders, so at that point the push is to stay underwater longer.

Fanatic: /fnatk/
"a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause."
you're being one by making up a fictional story to stay with evolution theory mister.

Re:Evolutionary Path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406346)

Oh good GOD, just because some bit of data doesn't automatically comply with a theory created by MEN doesn't automatically throw out all of the data that they've already gathered together except in your own make believe fantasy where you wish hard enough to make it all true.

Any God worth worshiping wouldn't hide behind rainbows and clouds and he certainly wouldn't tolerate most Christians as his followers unless he was, in fact, far weaker than 'omnipotence' might suggest.

Re:Evolutionary Path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406412)

Also, any God worth worshipping would have given you enough sense to be able to spot obvious sarcasm.

Re:Evolutionary Path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36407122)

first you come up with a plausible hypothesis, then you find data to support it

Re:Evolutionary Path (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406510)

Probably started out eating water-surface insects, then learned to dive after swimmers/larva. Which it had mostly to itself in many cases, and surfacing brings it into range of

...its evolutionary forebears (waterwalking spiders) who probably ate their diving kin.

Re:Evolutionary Path (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406564)

The article mentioned birds, but those also. Which was why I wanted to be generic.

Oh look... (2)

SockPuppetOfTheWeek (1910282) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405252)

They've (re-)discovered osmosis.

Spider breathes oxygen-rich air. Spider exhales air with low oxygen content. Air with lower oxygen content than the water pulls oxygen from the water. Isn't that amazing?!

Re:Oh look... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405312)

Yes, because that was the interesting part of the article. And how the lung worked was the primary focus of the scientific study.

Re:Oh look... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405368)

Yeah, it's um, "amazing". Now... time to commence with the orbital bombardment of the affected sector. Where's the fucking military?

Re:Oh look... (1)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405440)

Hopefully in orbit.

Re:Oh look... (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 3 years ago | (#36407810)

It is, after all, the only way to be sure...

Re:Oh look... (1)

shish (588640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406240)

That the osmosis happens faster than the oxygen gets used up seems pretty cool to me - why can't we do that to stay underwater for extended periods?

Re:Oh look... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406568)

why can't we do that to stay underwater for extended periods?

Because our poop isn't silk. Don't try to weave it into cloth either. I threw a baby diaper at a weaver in Ultima7 and she never spoke to me again.

Re:Oh look... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406600)

That the osmosis happens faster than the oxygen gets used up seems pretty cool to me - why can't we do that to stay underwater for extended periods?

We're bigger and need a lot more oxygen.

We can't spin silk.

We have submarines - why bother?

Re:Oh look... (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36407174)

That the osmosis happens faster than the oxygen gets used up seems pretty cool to me - why can't we do that to stay underwater for extended periods?

Because we're a lot larger than those spiders? Tiny Asian women can scuba dive with 40cf cylinders longer than I can stay down with 72cf cylinders...coincidentally they're around twice as small as I am.

I'm quite good at regulating my breathing but I have twice as much tissue to keep oxygenated.

Re:Oh look... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#36422982)

Twice as small? Is that even a valid statement?!?

Re:Oh look... (3, Informative)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36408046)

Something that pops up again and again in various scientific and engineering endeavors is the "cube-square law". This law reflects properties that scale as area versus properties that scale as volume. In the case of the spider's osmotic sack, if we scale the sack up from spider size ( 1 cm ) to human size ( 2 m ), 200X, the sack's area increases by 200^2 = 40000 while the living being's body mass ( and presumably its metabolic activity ) increases by 200^3 = 8000000. If the sack's osmotic rate is just barely good enough for the spider, it is only 40000/8000000 = 0.005 of good enough for a human if both the sack and the human are scaled up by the same amount from spider-size.

To use a technology similar to the spider's for humans, it either has to be scaled up disproportionately or changed in some major manner (like pleating the sack, using forced water flow to provide more dissolved oxygen, using a better osmotic membrane, etc.

Re:Oh look... (1)

rustl (49621) | more than 3 years ago | (#36409076)

They've (re-)discovered osmosis.

This is just plain old diffusion, osmosis is a bit more specific, it being diffusion across a semi-permeable membrane. The air-water interface doesn't count.

Aqualung (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405290)

Sitting on a park bench
eyeing little girls with bad intent.
Snot running down his nose
greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes.
Drying in the cold sun
Watching as the frilly panties run.
Feeling like a dead duck
spitting out pieces of his broken luck.
Sun streaking cold
an old man wandering lonely.
Taking time
the only way he knows.
Leg hurting bad,
as he bends to pick a dog-end
he goes down to the bog
and warms his feet.

Feeling alone
the army's up the rode
salvation à la mode and
a cup of tea.
Aqualung my friend
don't start away uneasy
you poor old sod, you see, it's only me.
Do you still remember
December's foggy freeze
when the ice that
clings on to your beard is
screaming agony.
And you snatch your rattling last breaths
with deep-sea-diver sounds,
and the flowers bloom like
madness in the spring.

On another related note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405434)

Anyone who takes care of a swimming pool will tell you there are many spiders that can go underwater (though unlikely all day). They are constantly in the skimmers, underwater, and just fine. Perhaps they don't spend their entire life underwater but they do spend a lot of it there. I've even seen them dive under the water as I approached. Normal spiders too, not the water striders you see riding the surface tension on ponds and lakes.

Seen on Planet Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405450)

Anyone know if this was on Planet Earth Special? I know Ive seen this before.

Re:Seen on Planet Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405666)

Anyone know if this was on Planet Earth Special? I know Ive seen this before.

Maybe in the movie Microcosmos [dailymotion.com] from 1996.
You can see it build it's creepy nest around 7'.

Re:Seen on Planet Earth (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36408350)

From observing swimming pool spiders myself I've noticed a lot of them carry a bubble of air when they are underwater. It seems to be a general behaviour amoungst spiders for breathing but it could be that the bubbles are just randomly trapped in their hair.

Obligatory (1)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405462)

This is intelligent design in effect!

Re:Obligatory (1)

Creedo (548980) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405592)

Um, no.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405728)

Wait, I thought that things tend toward order all by themselves?

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405914)

What kind of a cruel god would give spiders the power to breathe underwater?!? What's next? Spiders in outer space? Spiders on the moon? There is literally no place where you are safe from spiders.

Re:Obligatory (1)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406016)

Heh, i just had an UNCONFIRMED kill of a spider before posting but on the mission to confirm, i found a smaller one and killed that... but the original one is somewhere still. fucking bastards! is there a way to create reliable lures for spiders so you can kill a bunch quickly ?

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36409404)

You could probably let some house centipedes [wikipedia.org] loose to go after them.

Re:Obligatory (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36407086)

Nature is not, properly speaking, intelligent. Just more intelligent than most creationists...

Also Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36409268)

Say what you want about evolution, but intelligent design has helped shape young minds to be fit for the workplace far better than the exceptional, honest primitive. The fact is that deep in the ID subtext is a dangerous idea -- that if you remove any assumptions about evolved order, and begin applying intelligent design to your own life, your own personality and your own standards, that you can blindside the least desirable bits of the established order with your own ideas.

That leaves us with how to keep the wheels greased. The key notion is that intelligently designed culture is not worth rescuing. Why would a child eat or want to be a STEM or any other kind of vegetable when he or she can feast on sugar [orlandosentinel.com] ? Foreign students [wikipedia.org] are doing the work of getting the proper education just fine on their own -- the only metric is that there are enough of these professionals to wind up as the necessary cogs of industry. Indoctrinated, of course, with necessary subtext -- limit your interests to your own field, and never consider the implications in a broader context. Also, contracts are binding and non-negotiable; of course your mindshare [louisianalawblog.com] is of the company's benefit solely.

To think of the average American child, therefore, we need only appeal to economics. I will take for given the idea that public schools are inefficient [wikipedia.org] . That granted, the Establishment has considerable infrastructure already [wikipedia.org] in [wikipedia.org] place [wikipedia.org] to continue a large breadth of education. Coursework would be greatly simplified into the substance necessary: respect [nndb.com] for [goo.gl] authority [wikipedia.org] . The price of a penis [backseatblogger.com] entering an anus [goo.gl] in a normative corrective context could not possibly be lower, and this would be a critical part of education. Instead of a standardized test, we would get back to the individual teacher having discretion on which students pass; the metric would be solely if the child exhibits the necessary rate of submission [goo.gl] .

In conclusion, we must affirm our societal values by applying them economically; these are evolved values at their best. Time-honored and conservative; easy to relate to and understand. The default in every way.

Australians....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405586)

Of course it would be an Australian, tired of all the weird creatures at home, who heads to Europe in search of something wierder....

Not exactly news is it? (0)

tsa (15680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405618)

This is not exactly news, is it? This spider's ancestors have been using the technique for a very long time. And it's not like this spider was recently discovered.

Re:Not exactly news is it? (1)

tonywong (96839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405726)

This is what happens when people don't RTFA. The spider is not new, it's the research into the spider's behaviour that is new.

"Previous researchers thought the spiders had to replenish their air every half-hour, but as they report online today in the Journal of Experimental Biology, Seymour and Hetz found that the spiders can hang out near their bells for up to a day, waiting for prey while keeping safe from birds."

Re:Not exactly news is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406228)

Given the article mentions one of the researchers has been interested in the damn spider since he was a boy, anyone with two brain cells to rub together would realize the spider part isn't the new claim.

Even the summary mentions what is claimed as the new discovery, as anyone with one brain cell would notice.

nice design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36405620)

wow, just look at the awesome design. oh, right, sorry; it has evolved to carry a bubble with itself. that makes absolutely more sense(!)

THe article missed the most impressive thing (1, Offtopic)

Scyber (539694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405674)

the only spider in the world that spends its entire life underwater

it leaves its underwater web home to visit the surface

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm more impressed that it is able to die when it leaves the water and then re-animate itself when it comes back.

Zombie Spiders!

Re:THe article missed the most impressive thing (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36407108)

the only spider in the world that spends its entire life underwater

it leaves its underwater web home to visit the surface

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm more impressed that it is able to die when it leaves the water and then re-animate itself when it comes back. Zombie Spiders!

Yes, that's certainly a more plausible interpretation than that it merely visits the surface without leaving the water.

Re:THe article missed the most impressive thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36407402)

That doesn't fit the definition of "underwater".
Also: Whoooosh!

Remarkable! (2)

apqvist (784079) | more than 3 years ago | (#36405826)

Not only the water breathing part, that also that its abdomen is on its back. Or is it the other way around?

In Hungary we even had a cartoon series about it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406116)

In Hungary we even had a cartoon series about this spider and it was my favorite, it was called "Aqua Spider - Maverick Spider"

Basically it shows the lives of various bugs and small animals around a lake and in it (under water) It was very educational, explaining what little critters were in a lake, what they did, how did the spider survived under water (real valid scientific explanations on a kids level)

There are two spiders, one of them is a regular one and the other is the Aqua Spider, the serious starts in the spring when the bus awaken and start their life, with the Aqua Spider going into the lake building his Aqua Lung by the end of the first part

Of course you never actually find out what spiders (or any of the animals) eat...except a few times when bugs are saved by the spiders from various evil bugs that eat little defenseless bugs...

You can see him with the air of bubble at the beginning and his "under water house" at 3:26
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDD50bsJTAs

Vizipók Csodapók (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406128)

There's an old Hungarian cartoon series about such a spider:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDD50bsJTAs&feature=player_detailpage#t=532s

Evolution (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406226)

How does an air-breather possibly develop this mechanism to survive underwater?

I believe in evolution, but sometimes am simply astounded.

Re:Evolution (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36406566)

By watching scuba divers.

Note that the spider isn't the only thing that does this. There are several waterbugs that build bubbles underwater, that aren't spiders.

They probably evolved from something that lived in the water but breathed somehow at the surface, like mosquito larva do. From that to pulling a bubble underwater doesn't seem too far a change.

Re:Evolution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406708)

I believe in evolution, but sometimes am simply astounded.

Isn't belief reserved for creationists?

Re:Evolution (1)

Creedo (548980) | more than 3 years ago | (#36408968)

The likeliest scenario is probably a diving spider which dragged air bubbles with it on silk. The shape of the silk would alter towards a sphere over time, and the addition of the osmosis was just a happy accident which became incorporated in the adaptations.

Why the FUCK is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36406434)

This not news, and its not new, I leaned about this when I was kid 30 years ago...

Re:Why the FUCK is this news? (1)

RandomStr (2116782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36408912)

Me too; anyone who has lived in Sydney will know that "the Australian Funnel Web Spider" is often found in swimming pools, similar deal, they look like black marbles at the bottom of the pool. And yes they are deadly and yes they can bite under water! And to bust another myth, they can also climb stairs(carpeted). We has about 4 a year in the pool.

Re:Why the FUCK is this news? (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36409890)

That's why we sent you criminal lot there a few hundred years ago - you weren't expecting an easy ride were you? We had to dump you somewhere with the greatest proportion per capita of deadly creatures!

Back home here in England, about the deadliest animal we have here would be an overwieght blind cow that accidentally trod on you if you feel asleep in its field.

Re:Why the FUCK is this news? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36411738)

That's why we sent you criminal lot there a few hundred years ago - you weren't expecting an easy ride were you? We had to dump you somewhere with the greatest proportion per capita of deadly creatures!

Back home here in England, about the deadliest animal we have here would be an overwieght blind cow that accidentally trod on you if you feel asleep in its field.

Aren't most Australians descended from the guards, not the prisoners?

that's no news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36407040)

...to hungarian kids: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0134203/ http://rajzfilm.network.hu/video/vizpok_csodapok/vizipok__buborek_nyaklanc

10-millimeter-long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36407432)

First of all, it should be millimeters since it's more than one.

Second, it should have been 1-centimeter-long.

You guys can remember stupid crap like 12 inches in one foot but can't do a simple millimeter to centimeter conversion. Pathetic!

Re:10-millimeter-long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36408306)

First of all, it should be millimeters since it's more than one.

Second, it should have been 1-centimeter-long.

You guys can remember stupid crap like 12 inches in one foot but can't do a simple millimeter to centimeter conversion. Pathetic!

Check out significant digits [wikipedia.org] , and you'll feel a lot better.

I don't understand (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#36408410)

Okay, it requires oxygen to breathe, so it goes to the surface to get air.

They they say it's diving bell isn't just that, but an "aqualung" that allows it to get oxygen from the water.

If it can get oxygen from that water, why is it going to the surface then for oxygen?

Re:I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36409904)

RTF article. It is not going to the surface for oxygen but for air.

c'mon mods! (1)

pevans (44803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36408878)

I hardly ever log in, but I had to give this effort a comment.! Well done jollyreaper :-)

It must be difficult ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36409098)

... for that spider to stay submerged while dragging an air bubble around.

Deathspider! (1)

kattphud (708847) | more than 3 years ago | (#36410590)

Did anyone else notice the similarity between this and the fantasy physics of the Spelljammer [wikipedia.org] D&D setting? Specifically, read the paragraph Gravity and Air [wikipedia.org] . Deathspider FTW!

Was it sitting on a park bench? (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 3 years ago | (#36410918)

Eying little girls with bad intent. /an underwater goat with an aqualung

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