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Riot control spiders

  [vote for,

A significant proportion of the population has arachnophobia to a greater or lesser extent. A much larger proportion, whilst not actively arachnophobic, will nonetheless be freaked out by large spiders on their head or dropping down their shirt collar.

England, fortunately, is blessed with several largish (3-4 inch), fast-moving, long-leggedy spider species which are completely harmless. It should therefore not be a major problem to breed large numbers of these, and then release a couple of thousand of them from a drone-borne container into the midst of any riotous assembly.

MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 12 2019

For instance https://en.wikipedi...Tegenaria_parietina
[MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 12 2019]

or https://en.wikipedi.../Giant_house_spider
[MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 12 2019]

Spiderbait https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiderbait
To counteract the spiders. [neutrinos_shadow, Aug 13 2019]

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       What's not to love? [+]
Voice, Aug 13 2019

       The rioters (riotees?) could bring Spiderbait.
neutrinos_shadow, Aug 13 2019

       Bun for calling up for service Spiderman's original ancestors. But, would Spiderman consider people who are looking for basic human rights to be criminals? Hmm. I wonder if the spider ancestors have the same ethos? Eg: Drop the spiders into the middle of the Tiananmen Square 'riot', they land, look around at the distressed students' faces, and walk off en masse.   

       [n_s], it's a well-known fact that spiderbait doesn't work on Spiderman or his ancestors.
Sgt Teacup, Aug 13 2019

       //[W]ould Spiderman consider people who are looking for basic human rights to be criminals?//   

       I'm not suggesting a specific group against whom this could be used; just that it would be a pretty effective non-hazardous way to disrupt a mob.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 13 2019

       Not suggesting that you were suggesting it, [MB]. It's more like: Hey, Hong Kong currently has a bunch of riots going on, what if...?   

       It would be an effective dispersal impetus. Recommended research off-shoot: package the spiders, so that they can be deployed for home/ vehicle/ personal security purposes. Imagine the dampening effect on break-ins and assaults if you'd be met by a sudden explosion of long-leggedy I'll-kick-yer-arse arachnids?!
Sgt Teacup, Aug 13 2019

       //Hey, Hong Kong currently has a bunch of riots going on, what if// I'm pretty sure they have nastier spiders in Hong Kong, and knowing the Chinese, they would not hesitate to deploy them.   

       //package the spiders// Slight problem in that, if you start with a box of 2000 spiders, you wind up with one very fat spider and 15,992 spare legs. So, the spiders would have to be packaged immediately before dispersal.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 13 2019

       Perhaps a practical way of achieving this effect in a home security setting would be to have your entire house lined with a sort of double-glazing over all the walls, ceilings and floors, such that the space between the panes of glass forms a contiguous space in which thousands of spiders live. Then any intruder to your house will be suitably startled by what appears to be every surface covered with spiders.
hippo, Aug 13 2019

       Bullet ants would do a better job.
xenzag, Aug 13 2019

       //Bullet ants would do a better job.//   

       Only if you don't mind infesting the area. And if you don't mind that they're going to infest your areas in return.
Voice, Aug 13 2019

       In some parts of China this would be considered airborne snack delivery.
bs0u0155, Aug 13 2019

       // would Spiderman consider people who are looking for basic human rights to be criminals? //   

       Spider-Man probably wouldn't, but Spiderman (who is in charge of taking care of the spiders (or a descendant of someone who did that job)) very well might, and would be glad to have someone paying him for the services of his spiders.
notexactly, Aug 16 2019

       This idea would work if you could recruit the spiders depicted in the very silly* movie "Eight Legged Freaks" ...   

       *Spiders of that size are a biological/physiological impossibility due to their respiratory systems.
8th of 7, Aug 16 2019

       //biological/physiological impossibility due to their respiratory systems//   

       Not really. Many spiders have so-called "book lungs" which are as efficient as they need to be. If lungs were a limiting factor, they'd quickly evolve more finely-pleated surfaces for better gas exchange. They'd also tune up the muscles that they (and some insects) already use to move air in and out.   

       A bigger problem is the lack of a closed circulatory system. However, it's not clear how much of a limitation this is and, again, it would evolve and adapt if it were the only constraint.   

       A yet bigger problem, though, is the exoskeletal model. It works very efficiently only for small creatures (or bigger ones, like lobsters, that get support from water). It doesn't scale well. It also has to be moulted to allow for growth - anyone who's seen a tarantula moulting will appreciate that anything very much bigger will simply be too floppy to survive immediately after moulting.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 16 2019

       Since we're relying on hypothetical advances in evolution already molting is easily solved with an exoskeleton that can expand, a double or triple exoskeleton with only the largest being hard and the inner ones still being enough to support the body during molting, molting one limb at a time, better defenses during molting and/or a body that can molt completely and then regrow the exoskeleton one bit at a time such that each stage creates the necessary support for the next.
Voice, Aug 17 2019

       In the land of the arachnophobic the man without fear of spiders (& perhaps a little whip, to wrangle them with) can be king.   

       Does anyone know someone who sells teeny tiny bullwhips?
Skewed, Aug 17 2019

       To our certain knowledge, the Intercalary has a fine collection of full-sized whips, but he's very unlikely to lend any of them out.   

       It's the fact that he's given them all personal names that's the creepy part ...
8th of 7, Aug 17 2019

       He's a collector. It's Sturton you want to worry about.   

       Incidentally, he says he can get you another 2 cases of the same "personal hygiene" product if you like - he's stopping off at Macau on his way to a St. Rudel's Day feast.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 17 2019

       Make it three, please. Will he want cash, or would he prefer the usual "payment in kind" ? We need a fresh supply, had a party of drunk Klingons in the back of the Cube the other night ... the place still stinks. Dunno, should have known better than to go south of the river at that time of night ...
8th of 7, Aug 19 2019

       Your last "payment in kind" apparently etched the inside surface of his favourite port glasses, so I think he'll be looking for cash.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 19 2019

       ^ gotta be a winner, you should post that ...   

       Interestingly, it is very difficult to have a genuine phobia about venomous snakes, or sharks, or crocodiles, or tigers.   

       A phobia is defined as an "irrational fear" and being afraid of tigers or sharks is perfectly rational; they have an established record of attacking and injuring or killing humans. A fear of large predators is perfectly rational and therefore not a phobia.   

       Refusing to empty the laundry basket because there might be a king cobra in it, when you live in northern Norway or Japan or any place where cobras are not commonly found is a phobia.
8th of 7, Sep 05 2019


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