Part Two of my blog includes mention of spiders, which of course are not insects. I start with an obscure reference from 1904, in the form of a communication in Notes and Queries:'As regards the venomous spider in
Fortean Times no. 242 November 2008 carried a feature titled `The Spider Monster of Issoir` by Theo Paijmans - a tale of giant spiders in nineteenth-century Paris. American newspapers such as The Sandusky Register for February 1st 1895 reported, on the death of a Parisian:
'The countryman was lying on his back writhing in the grasp of an unknown monster, whose horrible aspect froze the agents of police with terror. “It was as large as a full-grown terrier, covered with wartlike protuberances and bristling with coarse brownish hair. Eight jointed legs, terminated by formidable claws, were buried in the body of the unfortunate victim. The face had already disappeared. Nothing could be seen but the top of the head, and the monster was now engaged in tearing and sucking the blood from his throat.' (2)This reminds me a bit about the scene with the priest Nathanial and the blood-sucking Martian in H.G. Wells`s War of The Worlds.
Jumping ahead to 1986 and the
'Bees knew secret of Chernobyl disaster: Polish bees headed straight back to their hives when they sensed contamination from the Soviet Union`s Chernobyl nuclear disaster while the rest of Poland was still in the dark about the accident, according to a beekeeping expert. Mr Henryk Ostach, who heads the Polish beekeepers` association, said apiarists were baffled when bees hid for several days after the explosion at the reactor. “When the explosion occurred, the bees interrupted their flight, although it was a fine sunny day. Not yet knowing anything about what had happened at
Moving ahead to February 1992, we had an occurrence of a mole cricket in the South Pacific. This was passed on to me by Darren Naish:
'8 February 1992. AT 2000 UTC whilst approaching the coast of
Lastly, coming right up to date with a report from The Guardian November 5th 2009:
`Towering ants` nests in woodland get protection:
“ A rare “skyscraper city” made by ants has been given the equivalent of listed building protection and a place on maps to safeguard it from forestry work. Nests up to two metres (7ft) high, constructed from conifer needles in Northumberland woodland, will be monitored during the felling of “intrusive” 20th century conifers in Holystone, near Rothbury. The whereabouts of 69 structures, made by colonies of the hairy northern wood ant, have been plotted. The species is Britain`s largest, but on a human scale, the nests dwarf the ants by a greater measure than the Empire State Building.(5)
That`s all, folks. For reasons too tedious to go into I cannot provide song lyrics today but they will be back tomorrow.
1. E. S. Dodgson. Untitled article. Notes and Queries April 2nd 1904 p.265
3. Anon The Times February 14th 1987. Bees knew secret of
4. Anon Insects. South Pacific Ocean. The Marine Observer. 63(319) Jan.1993 pp14-15. The Marine Observer occasionally reports on unknown animals or surprise occurrences.
5. M. Wainwright. The Guardian November 5th 2009. Towering ants nests in woodland get protection.