Tarantulas, like many animals, molt their exoskeletons when they grow. After they have wiggled free of their old skin, the spider’s discarded exoskeleton is a perfect replication of the spider, minus the head and fangs.
Image credit: flickr user Frosted Peppercorn
If you’re a special kind of asshole, you could always save the skin and use it to induce minor heart attacks in your arachnophobic friends. But you didn’t hear that from me.
So how does the spider wiggle free? The carapace (skin covering the head, basically) and abdomen rupture and the tarantula begins to squeeze out through the hole. Most of the time, tarantulas will molt while on their backs and will twitch and stretch and kick until their entire exoskeleton has been cast off.
This sounds somewhat terrifying, but this video that was released yesterday by Vimeo user Bipolar Spider shows that with the right audio dubbed over and video speed altered, the process can be… funny? Cute? Terrifying for a completely different reason? I actually really don’t know what the hell this is, so maybe you should just watch it and decide for yourself: