The Only Spider That Lives Underwater (Plus How It Survives)

Horrors from the deep

Grant Piper

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(Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Spiders are known for being terrestrial bugs that make webs in bushes and trees. They walk around yards at dusk. Spiders are not known for being aquatic animals. However, there is one spider that manages to live underwater while the rest of their cohort live on land. The diving bell spider is the only spider known to live almost entirely underwater. These spiders don’t breathe water; they breathe air, so how do they do it?

The diving bell spider gets its name from the fact that it builds a special kind of web around itself in the water that resembles a diving bell. This web forms a bubble around the spider, which traps air, allowing it to breathe underwater. The spider uses a special web combined with tiny hairs all over its body to capture tiny air bubbles that coalesce around the spider to form the protective bubble that is necessary for it to survive.

An Underwater Arachnid

The diving bell spider (Argyroneta aquatica) lives almost entirely underwater. It does everything underwater. The spider sleeps, hunts, lays eggs, eats, mates, and hibernates all while underwater. These characteristics make the diving bell spider completely unique among other arachnids.

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Grant Piper

Professional writer. Amateur historian. Husband, father, Christian.