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What Is a Camel Spider?

The camel spider is one of the stranger members of the arachnid family. This spider, which is also known by the name wind scorpion, may be an arachnid, but it is not considered a spider because of some strange characteristics. The camel spider cannot weave a web and it doesn’t have any venom. These spiders belong to a class of spiders called solpugids or shade-seekers, and they can be found in desert regions around the world.

Camel spiders typically growth to about 5 inches in length. Its legs are outstretched and have a look that is far less vicious than its reputation.

The myth surrounding camel spiders began in 1991 during the Gulf War and gained traction again in 2003 when the US invaded Iraq. In both cases, US soldiers started the talk about the spiders. According to the soldiers, camel spiders would scurry along the sand directly at them like they were about to attack. But the truth is far more benign. The spiders are actually running for the shade created by the soldiers’ shadows. But the misinformation continued, along with the rumors of the camel spiders’ ability to run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour (40 km/hr), their ability to jump several feet up into the air, laying eggs in a camel’s stomach, and injecting venom on sleeping soldiers that have an anesthetic effect so it can suck flesh.

The myths surrounding camel spiders are not confined to the Middle East. In fact, in Mexico, the local name for the camel spider is matevenados, or roughly “deer killers.”

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