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This Week In Weird Twitter, Volume 87

Spiders have not always walked (or is it crawled?) amongst us. In fact, it wasn’t until 1900 that they first appeared at the home of two famous scientists.


Spiders have not always walked (or is it crawled?) amongst us. In fact, it wasn’t until 1900 that they first appeared, in Paris as it were, at the home of two famous scientists.

It was in that year that one Marie Curie, fresh off some pretty heavy exposure to radium and polonium, was relaxing in her back yard with her husband and fellow researcher Pierre Curie, enjoying the evening breeze. There was a disturbance in the air, though, and it was harshing Mme. Curie’s vibes. What was causing this?

It wasn’t spiders. Rather, it was some crickets, doing what crickets do, namely chirping.

While Marie wasn’t always averse to the crickets’ song, on that particular evening she found it quite unnerving and unhelpful to her brainstorming about ways to apply her findings toward creating the world’s most perfect beef jerky. That being the case, she did the only thing she could and hurled the contents of her water glass toward the insects.

Being insects, the splash of water didn’t do a whole lot to them, at least that they initially realized. Then, as the sun came up and they rested, their bodies (exoskeletons?) started to undergo changes.

Mme. Curie’s water, tainted with all the radium and polonium coursing through her veins, had started a series of events inside the crickets’ bodies that would forever change the course of history. Those drenched insects would awake as something new altogether—the spider, destroyer of flying pests and other nuisances—while the Curies would go on to claim all the glory.

Despite such auspicious beginnings, spiders would, predictably, go on to have a pretty good reputation. That’s how auspicious beginnings often work. Sure, some are scared of the arachnids, but there are no crazy men calling for their wholesale eradication as they might do for, I don’t know, geese. Unlike geese, spiders serve a purpose and usually don’t deploy their fangs unless the situation absolutely demands it.

The Curies, on the other hand, well — I would not recommend testing radium.

Mme. Curie?

*Does shot of polonium* Totally.

Let’s not get hasty.

You know what would’ve offered twice as many legs?

Maybe. What sort of haunting are we talking about here?

Or you could just embrace your fears.

This fear, for example.

It’s only mildly terrifying and mostly inaudible.

After the laughs of sheer delight, this happens, particularly when radiation is involved.

Allow me to introduce you to a few scientists I know.

Exposing various living creatures to radiation and seeing what happens?

What did I tell you about scientists?

Look on the bright side, it also means you have the possibility to bring an entirely new thing into existence.

I think this is how Aquaman got his start.

First comes radium, then comes bees, then comes sizing up these fellows to see if they make you weak in the knees.

This was the original premise of Stephen King’s “It.”

Just keep telling yourself that as Shelob wraps you in silk.

So you’re saying there’s not a giant spider?

They glow, almost as if they’ve been exposed to something.

*Throws entire water cooler at crickets*

If you’re in the market for a research assistant, I may know someone.

Why does he have so many crickets with him?

Especially if you don’t know what he’s been notified of.

Bring it, just don’t bring any genetic abominations.

What water glass have you been drinking out of, Bob?

That tends to happen, which is why you should always carry a box of spiders with you. Introduce a little chaos into the system.

So entomology then?

It was into Pierre’s eyes. It’s partly why Marie was so upset at the crickets.

It’s not a tangled web, which is a feature, though also a bug.

How to make Bruce Banner smile.

If you bring the Hulk with you, no one will say shit.

But do they mutate into something afterward or nah?

That which does not kill us, like irradiated water, makes us stronger.

Do you want ants? Because that’s how you get ants.

It’s a mutant strain.

Okay, but don’t forget that movie “Arachnaphobia.” There are limits.

Where’s Marie when you need her? No one solves problems like Mme. Curie.

Besides polonium and radium?

They started out that way, but then Marie got ahold of them.

But what if they’re researchers?

Don’t dry off, the water is where the magic is!

It’s where you’ll find the creepy crawlies waiting to do your bidding.

Aren’t we all. *Pours rare earth metals into a flask*

It’s okay, most things do.

All eight of them.

And when the day is done and it’s time for refreshment, don’t forget to keep on learning.

Sadly, Marie Curie never got the recognition she deserves for her contribution to the natural kingdom, although she did win a Nobel Prize in physics and gain some recognition for her other scientific accomplishments and wartime contributions to World War I.

Her legacy lives on, though, in our rafters and backyards, next to the light by the front door and sometimes behind our toilets. Regardless of where we encounter them, we must remember that while they were born in a radiation-laden explosion of angrily flung water, they’re not totally unreasonable and they do uphold their end of the bargain. Just make sure to give them a cool name.