Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Camel spiders - what the hell.....

Good evening folks,

One of my friends is currently in the Marathon des Sables and I was following her progress online and doing a bit of googling about the MDS, when I came across references to camel spiders.  My colleague saw the search on my screen and said "Oh yes I know what camel spiders are.  They run after you looking for shade from the desert sun and are absolutely huge."  This got me interested.

Indeed it appears he is right.  They are not actually spiders despite the name, but they do belong to the class of arachnids, having 8 legs.  They can grow up to 8 inches long and indeed it seems they will run after your shadow seeking shade when they can.  They are even capable of running up to 10 miles per hour.

Can you imagine running through the desert with the sun ahead of you and hence your shadow behind you, and then the next second you have this humungous spider running along behind you.  If you didn't know it was seeking shade you might think it was trying to attack you and get completely freaked out.  Or on the positive side you might going from being a back of the pack runner to one of the ones at the front if you kept trying to outrun it at > 10 miles per hour.

If I had known I might bump into one of these things in the desert I might have reconsidered my entry.  But it's too late now, and at least if I do see one I will know it isn't trying to attack me.

Sleep well and don't have nightmares,

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