Tsukuba is a Japanese town that’s renowned for it’s dedication to all things science. This city is a town full of kind-hearted, hard-working researchers from just about every scientific field you can think of: pharmaceutical research, earthquake research, environmental research, aeronautics, medical research, chemical research… Did you know that JAXA, Japan’s program for training astronauts, has its headquarters right here in Tsukuba? I have had the pleasure of actually getting to teach English to some of these very researchers. As science is so deeply entrenched into this city, Tsukuba is also known as “Science City” and rightfully so.
I do agree with the Tsukuba’s moniker, but at times I think they should make a second name for this town…Spider City!! Why? I’m glad you asked…
“My first fall in Tsukuba…ahhh! Beaming, I open my door to that fresh, crisp, and slightly cool evening air as I step out onto my apartment’s breezeway. This is weather that I love so much. It’s running weather, it’s pancakes in the morning weather, it’s reading weather, it’s leaf-changing, Halloween party, jean-wearing weath…WHOA!! What is that?! It’s freakin’ humongous! What the hell kinda spider is that? Avicularia Satannicus* is going to be my guess.”
*Not a real genus and species
I vividly remember this giant spider’s web just outside of my first apartment because it was so much bigger than the standard ones I had seen. I wanted to destroy the web, but I couldn’t do it for some reason. Was it fear? Perhaps. Was it because the spider had the courtesy of not building his home right in font of my door? Maybe. More so than anything, I was fascinated by it. I didn’t want to kill it. I would just walk by everyday, and marvel at this thing. Sometimes I would sit down onto the web and Bobo (that was his name) and I would have a chat over a soda. Yeah, his face was a little weird but I’m sure he felt the same about me.
Seriously, though, I would sometimes walk out with bread, and throw these big chunks at the we, just to see what the spider would do. He would walk over do some kind of spider examination and throw it to the ground. It was kinda neat to see a spider carrying items this size. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of Bobo, but thinking about my old spider buddy made me wonder just how common humongous arachnids are around here.
They’re a lot more common than you might think.
I always see some pretty nice-sized webs on my way to school. Here a few examples of the pics I took..
Spider City or Science City, which is the better choice? It’s up to YOU to decide
See you tomorrow!!
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