Monday, March 14, 2016

The Spider That Waged A Battle Against A Clock

In 1932, long before the internet, a spider achieved overnight celebrity status. On November 20, 1932 Louise Thompson noticed a "tiny black dot" moving across the face of her alarm clock. Closer examination revealed a spider between the face of the clock and the glass. It was attempting to spin a web between the minute and hour hands but, as the hands moved, the web broke. The next morning the spider was still there, trying to build its ill-fated web. And it remained there the day after, and the day after that.

Neighbours grew interested and on December 7 the media arrived and began providing daily details of the spider's adventures. By this time the insect had grown to the size of an ordinary house spider, and the hands of the clock were covered with fine threads. The clock and its eight-legged prisoner were taken to the University of Akron where a biologist attempted to unravel the mystery of how the spider was surviving without a food source.

The Akron Humane Society declared this a case of arachnid cruelty and allowed one week for study  at which point the spider would be released from its "clock-face prison."

Alas the spider died and obituaries ran in many newspapers. (The clock survived to tick again). 

John A. Twamley of Rochester, New York set the spider's struggle to verse:
In the city known as Akron,
In the state of O-hio,
On a clock face there's a spider
Spinning web threads to and fro.

Back and forth he keeps on going
From clock hand unto clock hand,
And why his threads should keep abreaking
He of course can't understand... 
When we men meet with reverses
We should keep this thought in stock:
That 'til death we should keep striving
Like the spider in the clock

Read more here

Thanks Bruce!

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