T. Theories...

Iktomi

Arachnoservant
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Dec 16, 2002
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I'm interested in hearing anyone's theory on this.
I go from being unbelievable TERRIFIED of spiders (i.e. calling my wife to kill a house spider) to owning three T's and planning more already. Obviously we are fascinated by what we are afraid of...but how can they change you so quickly? Any tarantula philosophers have an idea on their appeal? :?
 

conipto

ArachnoPrincess
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I know alot of people scared of common house spiders that aren't afraid to handle a T. I think it's because for the most part, they appear to the untrained eye to be big, slow, buffoons. Many people associate big with dumb, and they are all fuzzy and cute. Not to mention the 'tarantuality' in the way most of them move, slowly prodding around with legs, each step graceful. It isn't until you see one REALLY move that you realize they are marvelous predators :)

Bill
 

Iktomi

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I would agree with that. The old world spiders are definately more "spider-like" than most of the new world. (fast and mean, etc.)
For me, I can't deal with the thought of being "watched" by some little evil thing when I don't know it's there. I used to have nightmares about being in our crawlspace as a child completely surrounded by a soup of webs and black widows every few inches. (grew up with lots of those little buggers.)
 

Iktomi

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Whoa...I know you didn't mention old/new world spiders...that comparison just popped into my head while thinking about the slow and dumb thought that people may have. FYI...I haven't lost my mind!
 

conipto

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Well, I was thinking along the same lines, actually.. hence my comment on cute and fuzzy..
And if you don't lose your mind once in a while, you won't truly appreciate it being there ;)

Bill
 

Gillian

Arachnoblessed
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Originally posted by Inktomi
Obviously we are fascinated by what we are afraid of...but how can they change you so quickly? Any tarantula philosophers have an idea on their appeal? :?
My theory is that, by making that first step, and owning t's, it in turn, opens up my whole view of insects, in general. I now no longer use insecticides of any kind, and will rescue spiders in my shower.

Peace,
Gillian
 

Hamadryad

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Nov 2, 2002
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I sort of prefer the more evil types of spiders

=D I find that I prefer the more aggressive, "Spidery" types of Old World tarantulas....I like all tarantulas but I get sort of bored with the mellow New world species...I sort of get a bang out of watching my Asians bare their fangs and threat display at me...it is cool....sort of matchs my temperment I guess...

I also do love the true spiders as well...when I was a kid I used to collect true spiders...I had all kinds but my favorite true spider remains L.mactans..the Southern Black Widow...I think that spider is the ultimate in sinister beauty.....

;) The Evil Spider Hunter
 

Mojo Jojo

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Up until about 3 years ago, I would have never thought about getting a tarantula. I hated tarantulas with a passion. When I was younger, I could never understand the people that I saw on tv holding tarantulas. I cringed just seeing it on tv.

However, being interested in science, and loving to watch the discovery channel, I would see shows about them, and thus learn more and more about them. I even saw on a Discovery channel show about phobias, how an old woman with a severe case of arachnophobia got over her fear to the point of being able to hold a tarantula.

So the more I learned about them, the more interested in them I became. Well, two or three years ago, I went into a petstore near my apartment and was looking around. Anyways, I came across a rose hair exuvum that was laying on a shelf. So I decided to pick it up and put it in the palm of my hand.

I have to tell you, that that really freaked my out. I don't care if it was just a shed skin, it gave me the willies. So I put it back down. Well, a few weeks later, I went back into the petstore, and an old lady that worked there, was letting that rose hair crawl all up and down her arm.

So I figured that if some old lady could do it, then I could too. So I asked her if I could hold it, and she let me. Again, I got quite a case of the willies. But I was intrigued at the same time. I really liked seeing the creature walk. That rose hair, turned out to be my first tarantula.

:D

BD
 

DolphinOne

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Nov 24, 2002
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Not too long ago during this year, I was walking in the mall with a friend of mine. We walked to one of the kiosks and this girl had a T on her hand. I was curious about it and I went to her. I asked if I could hold it, and she let me. It was all black, so I couldn't tell you what species it was. I then asked if I could pet it, and she let me. The T just sat there, seeming to enjoy being touched on her abdomen. I thought it was soooo cool. A month later I bought a sling B. Smithi :) Unfortunately, it died from who knows what. I was very saddened. But then I ordered a guaranteed female from John Hoke, and Besterr has since molted once :) I was soooo happy. I consider her to be my baby. I was hooked on the hobby after holding that T in the mall. :)
 

arachnopunks

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Nov 10, 2002
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My husband started collecting tarantulas, long before I knew him, to get over his irrational fear of spiders. The fear had been with him since he was bitten by a wolf spider that was hiding in his shoe when he was a child. He asked for a tarantula for his 18th birthday and received a female Chilean Rose who he had for 8 years before she died. By the time I met him, he was no longer afraid of spiders, but had become rather intrigued by his giant spider and her quirky habits. Once we moved in together, I started watching her habits and movements and quickly became a fan. Soon, we had a Pterinochilus, then a Cyclosternum sp. (Cobalt Redrump). After a year we had 10 and after 2 years we had 30 tarantulas. I never considered myself to be all that afraid of spiders before, but I would usually kill a house spider if I say one. Now I just let them be, they don't bother me and I don't bother them. I guess the fear comes from the unknown. Tarantulas and spiders are so physiologically different from us that we fear them simply because we cannot relate to them as easily as other, more common animals. We have found that even people that HATE spiders are at least a little bit intruqued once we give them a tour of our spider room. I think it takes a bigger person to confront their fears than it does to become cemented to them.



-Jill
 

belewfripp

Arachnobaron
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Aug 17, 2002
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I think it boils down to the fact that arachnophobia, like any other phobia, is fundamentally irrational. There is no good reason to be afraid of spiders. The only possible thing I can see is if you or someone close to you had one of the few incredibly severe reactions to a widow or recluse bite and consequently became apprehensive of spiders in general. But while this reaction would be understandable, it still really wouldn't be rational. I have a friend who, while in prison, was twice stabbed (literally) by a man of different ethnicity from him. As a result, he tends to have a problem with people of that ethnicity, which is irrational, illogical, and not something to be accepted or encouraged, but it is still possible to see how he came to be that way. The ridiculous thing I find with arachnophobia is that, while with other phobias people try to get those afflicted with them to face them and overcome them, arachnophobia is encouraged and considered normal, likely because while most people don't have a full-blown neurological fear of spiders, they still don't like them. Which, in turn, is likely because they don't look like us. The more something doesn't resemble us, I have noticed, the less people tend to like it.


But anyway, about overcoming it. Fundamentally, there is nothing to be afraid of, and so once you enter into owning a tarantula with an open mind, it starts to become obvious that this is so. Keep in mind that by suggesting there is nothing to be afraid of, I am not dismissing the need for caution or the possibly very real existence of tarantulas with quite potent venom. But I believe that caution and understanding and not being stupid need not have their impetus in fear.


Adrian
 
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