Chinese Man Stumbles Across One of the Rarest Spiders on Earth!
Have you ever thought about what you would do if you came across an endangered and almost mythical spider in your backyard? Would you send it to researchers to preserve and help us understand more about it, or would you decide to try and sell it on Ebay after finding out how much money it is worth? One man in China was faced with this dilemma when he came across a rare spider crawling about on his orange field. When he discovered just how rare this spider is he decided that science and the bugs can just go to hell. He was going to sell it to the highest bidder.
When Li Wenhua found a spider on his orange field in Chengdu, southwest China that had a strange disc shape on its belly, he originally thought he had discovered an antique before it started moving and he realized it was actually a living creature. He decided to snap a picture of the bizarre looking creature and do a little searching on the Internet to find out exactly what he had found. It turns out that the spider is an extremely rare spider known as the “Chinese hourglass spider,” which has only been spied a total of six different times since it was re-discovered in 2000. The spider is a kind of trapdoor spider that lives underground, probably helping it stay so hidden. This rare arachnid was first referred to in a book dating back to the fifth century BC, but very little actual evidence of its existence has been found by humans in the thousands of year since. Now that is what you call a mythical spider.
When Li discovered that he has a potential jackpot on his hands his response was to try and sell it for a hefty price as a pet. While the Chinese hourglass spider is indeed incredibly rare and valuable, it seems a little greedy to just sell it off to the highest bidder when it is only one of six ever seen by humans in recent history. Even insect expert Zhao Li, who confirmed the spider’s species, claimed “the spider has very high value in scientific research. It is an extremely rare species in Sichuan. I had spend great effort trying to find it, but I didn’t see one.” You would think this is a find one should really give over to science, so we can all benefit from the knowledge that could be gained from having a live one to study. But who cares about science and monumental discoveries when you can become a millionaire or even a billionaire by selling the creature off?
If you found a creature as rare as this Chinese hourglass spider, what would you do with it? Would you donate it to science or try to get a good price for it on the black market?