Tarantulas and the Hygge

One of the joys of blogging is discovering the weird side of the Internet—the fun weird side, not the dark, inappropriate weird side.  Today’s post is a trip down one of those byways of oddity.

My blogger buddy photog posted a striking stack photography image a couple of weeks ago with the enigmatic title “Name That Tooth.”  He invited readers to identify a truly remarkable fang.

After studying the image for a few moments, I ventured a guess, which turned out to be correct:  it was the lethal, chitinous fang of the mighty tarantula.

But before I knew I was correct, I naturally sought answers on the Internet.  As is the wont of Internet surfing, I quickly found myself down a tarantula rabbit hole (I suppose I should just write “a tarantula hole,” since they dig them prodigiously).

My sojourn led me to the website Tarantula Heaven, which is surely an oxymoron, as any heaven full of gigantic, woolly spiders is probably closer to hell.  If you’re looking for whimsical video and blog posts filled with advice about caring for these curious critters, though, it’s an arachnitopia.

Every Tuesday, the toothsome proprietor of the website, Patricia, puts out a “Tarantula Tuesday” video via her YouTube page (to which I am now subscribed, in part out of intellectual curiosity, in part out of curiosity in Patricia).  Most of these deal with the caring for tarantulas, such as dealing with the dreaded nematodes, but she also delves into the peculiar personalities and quirks of tarantulas.

Such was the topic of this Tuesday’s edition of “Tarantula Tuesday,” which explored tarantulas’ fastidious housekeeping and decorating activities.  Per Patricia, the tarantulas are “Masters of the Art of Hygge“:

Readers may recall my post “The Joy of Autumn,” in which I discussed the Danish concept of hygge (which I have apparently been mispronouncing in my head—another kudos to Patricia for correcting me in her winsome manner).  Z Man also write about the idea,  in a post whose title I realize I likely ripped off when writing my own ode to autumnal coziness.

According to Patricia, tarantulas are borderline obsessive-compulsive about their living spaces, as they’re constantly moving around dirt, toys (Patricia mentions a Ping Pong ball—that I’ve gotta see), webbing, etc.  If she introduces a new piece of decoration into their tanks or cleans them, it puts the spiders into a tizzy.

She also notes that “tarantulas love being in their homes.”  There’s a good bit of anthropomorphizing in this video, but it certainly makes these active arachnids more relatable.  I’m not the tidiest housekeeper, but I surely do love time burrowed away in my country bungalow, busying myself with rearranging sloppy stacks of books and papers (often instead of doing real work).  My desk, for example, has a very precise sequence of stacked remotes, mobile video game consoles, and pens, small books, and receipts.

Sure, it sounds messy, but it works.  Even as I write this blog post (wishing Patricia were my Queen Spider; ¡Ay caramba!), I’m nudging little bits of paper around and realigning pens; never mind that I desperately need to change my air filters.

Tarantula pens certainly look grubby—full of dirt and tunnels and spidery bric-a-brac—but there is a beautiful hominess and sense of place to their glassed-in domains.

Of course, we’re all playing tarantula these days, with our social distancing and state-mandated hygge (it takes the fun out of it when you’re required to be cooped up at home), spinning wheels instead of spinning webs (though some humans are likely doing both).

Unlike the noble little tarantula, though, I get the sense we’re far more defanged.

15 thoughts on “Tarantulas and the Hygge

  1. Tyler, you’ve certainly delved into the world of tarantulas. I myself have had my share of unconventional pets and known people who had even stranger ones. With these hobbies, the trick is to keep it to a manageable scope. Keeping one or three tarantulas or snails or lizards or frogs or snakes is enjoyable. The problem starts when you try to own a zoo full of something. Then it just becomes too much work. And for some reason that’s the direction it tends to go.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, no worries—I have a pretty strict “no pet” policy, since I’m usually not home enough to take care of another living creature (although with distance learning—which has now been extended through the end of April here in SC—that may change). So no tarantula menageries for me. I mainly just enjoy listening to the lovely and winsome Patricia gush so enthusiastically about her oddball pets.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hygge, huh? The Danes (and us Norsk) have been working on that for a long time – without tarantulas, in fact, I think sharing my cozy joint with a tarantula might just lead to hiraeth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] “Tarantulas and the Hygge” – My general philosophy towards spiders is live and let live, with the caveat—“you live as long as you stay away from me.”  I don’t mind a little spider hanging out in some dusty corner of my house, eating up whatever lower-order insects shouldn’t be around.  I don’t mind them hanging around outside (that’s even better!), gobbling up all the nasty things.  But when I look at spiders, I have to imagine they are a form of extraterrestrial life—few of God’s creatures appears and acts more alien than do arachnids. […]

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