Friday, 13 January 2012

The Beautiful Golden Orb Spider

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I've been thinking about starting one of these for a while, just as a place to post my thoughts and any interesting experiences I have or articles I'd like to share. Took me ages to come up with a name but finally settled for the one you see above - since I'm learning (or trying to learn) Spanish at the moment I thought something Spanish-sounding would be nice, so I combined my name with the Spanish word 'pensamientos', which means thoughts (well, as far as I know! I hope it does!), so it's kinda like 'Hafsa's thoughts'.

Anyway, I've been thinking what to put for my first post, and I had a few ideas but this morning I heard something on the radio that I thought was really cool. It's concerning the Golden Orb spider, which lives in Madagascar. In general I really like spiders, I know they can be scary but they do catch flies, and flies really annoy me! Also there's a surah in the Qur'an named after the spider, and it was a spider who spun her web accross the entrance of cave when the prophet Muhammed (saw) was hiding from his enemies. So yeah, I think they're pretty cool. At some point I will post the pic of the one that I found on my head the other night (which I did not find cool at all!!) but that's another story.

Back to the point, this is the Golden Orb:

Silk spinning spider

Notice the golden colour of it's silk? I never knew there was a spider that produced such beautiful silk, mashaAllah. This is what they've used to hand weave this beautiful scarf:

Weaving spider silk

They've also created a cape. Apparently it took 80 people 5 years to collect 1.2 million spiders to collect enough silk to create the material. It's going to be displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London from January-June 2012. I might have to take a trip to see it!

Oh and the good thing is the spiders are not harmed, they are just 'silked' and released back into the wild.

You can see some more pics on the BBC website:

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