If you’re one of those smug Californians who’s always going on about fish tacos and great weather and avocados and relaxed marijuana regulations, there’s a grumpy Northeasterner getting ready to have a schadenfreude party at your expense this weekend. That’s because this weekend in California is Tarantula Bang Fest 2013, when male tarantulas from all over the state emerge from their underground lairs in search of female tarantulas that they can have sex with and most likely be murdered by.
According to some lascivious researchers like Al Wolf, director of Sonoma County Reptile Rescue, “This weekend or next weekend is going to be the biggest spider movements of all. All the males will be looking for the girls so it gonna be eight legged love or spider romance.” Yes, the male spiders will put on their letter jackets, hop in their Deuce Coupes, and go cruisin’ down Santa Monica Boulevard for some “girls” (feel free to steal Varsity Spiders from Outer Space, btw, because it’s the weekend we should all share our best movie ideas).
A CBS News report on the impending spider orgy explains that the warm weather will be responsible for luring male spiders out of their underground burrows, which the spiders have lived in for the first five to 12 years of their lives. The warm, dry weather of late summer/early autumn draws the males out into the open. The female spiders, meanwhile, languish in their own burrows, waiting for a suitable mate to (literally) drum on her burrow entrance before (figuratively) drumming on her burrow entrance. With his spider penis. SEX. From there, it’s all downhill for the male tarantula, which is much smaller than its female counterpart:
After inseminating the female, male tarantulas often meet a tragic fate: if females are hungry, they sometimes overpower and then devour them. It's not too hard, considering the males are already entangled in the female's fangs. Even if they escape, mature males die by the end of mating season.
Music conspiracy theory: Don Henley wrote “Boys of Summer” about male tarantulas. THINK ABOUT IT.
Image via AP, Victoria Arocho