Even if you’re terrified of spiders (or wasps), this is a pretty cool story. Researchers in Australia believe that a recently-deceased spider that they monitored was the oldest recorded spider, at 43 years of age. The previous record-holder was a 28-year-old tarantula.
The lead Australian researcher said, “to our knowledge this is the oldest spider ever recorded, and her significant life has allowed us to further investigate the trapdoor spider’s behaviour and population dynamics.” The female Gaius villosus trapdoor spider was named “Number 16” and was first documented in 1974.
Trapdoor spiders build themselves tunnels in the ground and rarely ever leave, so researchers are confident that “Number 16” was the same spider they’d been watching for years. In 2016, the researchers noticed that the spider’s burrow had been pierced by a parasitic wasp. Number 16’s burrow then fell into disrepair, meaning she had most likely been killed by the wasp. Poor Number 16…