Why the Male Black Widow is a Real Home Wrecker | Deep Look


This episode of Deep Look is brought to you
by Curiosity Stream. You know what people say about her. She’s the black widow. She mates, and then she kills, right? Here comes her victim now. He’s smaller, less venomous. Kinda cute. Sweet little guy. But before he gets eaten alive…Let’s talk
about this poor sucker for a minute. And how much of a “victim” he really is. This western black widow lives in California. She works pretty hard to make a living. Unlike many spiders that build a new web each
night, she toils continuously on the same one her whole life. This web may look messy, but don’t be fooled. It’s laid out on a grid of draglines that
she attaches to the ground. It’s a multi-story sticky trap that stands
up to some pretty tough game. When she bites, the venom takes hold, bringing
a slow paralysis, As this lethal knitter wraps, and wraps, and
wraps. But that’s not the only thing hanging around
the web…There’s this guy. Adult male widow spiders don’t build webs
of their own. He moves right into hers. Basically, he’s a squatter. He’s staking his claim to her, because he
knows every sticky thread of the web is covered in her pheromones. And that spreads her mating scent far and
wide, potentially attracting a nice selection of other males for her to choose from. Which is not on his agenda. So, he trashes the place. He goes around snipping strands of her web,
undoing all her hard work. He winds up the loose threads in his own silk,
masking her scent from other males in the area. It’s called web reduction. When he finally tries to mate with her — see
that vibrating? That’s him signaling his interest —
He wraps her limbs in his own delicate silk. It probably serves to surround her in his
pheromones. Scientists call it the bridal veil. It seems subdues her. Makes her more approachable. When they mate, he leaves behind a piece of
this curlicue-shaped organ, called an embolus, in her body. It blocks other males from fathering her offspring
later. So let’s see… Lazy. Rude. Messy. Controlling. Ok. Now let’s watch him get eaten. Actually, in most widow spider species, and
there are 31, the males don’t get eaten. They escape scott free. The Australian redback is one of only two
where cannibalism almost always occurs when they mate. He literally somersaults himself towards her
mouth so she can take the first bite, which keeps her…interested. They’ll mate a few times like this before
he finally dies. Scientists describe it as a self-sacrifice. And she’ll take her time, devouring his
insides later. Least he can do, right? This episode is brought to you by Curiosity
Stream, a subscription streaming service that offers documentaries and nonfiction titles
from some of the world’s best filmmakers, including exclusive originals. Want to learn more about spiders’ habitats? Curiosity Stream’s original short film “Big
World Small Garden” captures the hectic and complex natural world of a London backyard. To get unlimited access and your first two
months free, sign up at CuriosityStream.com/deeplook, and use the promo code Deeplook during the
signup process. So what if a black widow spider bit you? Well, it probably wouldn’t kill you…in
fact, we couldn’t find a documented case of human death from a black widow spider. But it’s definitely no joke. So look, but don’t touch her. Another poison myth? How bout that Halloween candy that was supposed
to kill you? Watch this episode of the Origin of Everything
from PBS Digital Studios to find out the answer to that and other everyday mysteries. And thanks for watching Deep Look!

100 thoughts on “Why the Male Black Widow is a Real Home Wrecker | Deep Look

  1. As an arachnophobe, I do not appreciate myself for watching this.

    P.S I really wanted to know how exactly he's a home wrecker…. I'm glad to know it isn't my home they were talking about…

  2. Men, always making sacrifices to ensure the continuation and prosperity of the species, only to end up having women complaining about how horrible they think men are.

  3. Talk about a salty woman. "lazy" I dunno if I'd call that lazy, deconstruction of that web at that size sounds like a big job, and survival is quite clever if you just ask me. 😛

  4. Guys, the narrator’s job is to emphasize words and phrases in certain ways to make the video more interesting. She probably has to put on multiple characters, and this is just one of them. She’s most likely practiced different techniques to make her sound like someone who was cheated on, and I’m certain there’s no intent behind it. (This is for the people taking it seriously, not the one’s making jokes.)

  5. I'm very uncomfortable right now. I have arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and im just terrified of looking at them

  6. My god this woman's voice sound so spiteful. Geeze. I cannot take her seriously, she has an obvious agenda to push.

  7. so when a widow mates is she fertile from then on ?
    i had one in a cage every time she ate she produced an egg sack to my surprise they started to hatch and escape the cage !!!

  8. Everything she just said describes my ex girlfriend.. EVERYTHING! Lazy, rude, messy, controlling. Yep, sounds exactly like her.

  9. Hey, it's a lot of work to undo that web, wrap her up and then he's got to last more than 2 minutes and at the end he's eaten?
    After the deed is done she gets to keep her house and the kids and got a free quickie and a meal.
    Sounds like she got the better deal to me. Lol

  10. Is it just me but I find the black widow to be deadly attractive and now I'm staring at a spider 🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

  11. Male black widow takes apart female black widow web
    Me: Oh lemme help you with that!
    Also me: Takes shoe and hits the web

  12. Male ruins what a lady is working on, Female kills him. and hes the one in the wrong and the messed up one in this situation? guess the animal world is alot like the human world.

  13. I'm afraid of you now!😬😬 What if I came to your home and somehow broke a vase, you'll chop me down and serve me up??😰😰

  14. Female BW: “Look at this beautiful home I made. No one’s gonna wreck this place, right?”
    Male BW: “I’m about to end this woman’s whole career.”

  15. If you turn off the sound you can clearly see how the female is just chilling, webbing the web just like every other spider. And then comes the male, has to do all this work just to have a chance with her and then most likely get killed.

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