Meet The Daddy Longlegs With The 99-Million-Year-Old Fossilized Erection


Millions of years ago, a daddy longlegs finally made it to adulthood. Free of the confines of puberty, his spiderhood burst forth, ready to procreate. And then he was suddenly covered in tree sap and frozen into that position for all eternity, because nature is hilariously cruel.

Penises are quite rare among arachnids, most of whom basically jam a foot in the female’s crotch to transfer sperm. Remember that the next time you see Peter Parker kiss Mary Jane. Anyway, this is particularly important because daddy longlegs, or harvestmen depending on where you live, have evolved more than 400 million years and these days kind of all look the same. So, any differences in morphology, like, say, their fully erect member, is incredibly useful for analyzing how they’ve evolved over the eons. In fact, their penises often have more information for determining differences between species and evolutionary changes than any other aspect of their physiques.

This means that somebody with multiple degrees is, right now, using advanced 3D modeling and scanning technology to carefully examine every aspect of the penis of a spider that died suddenly, frustrated, on the edge of losing its v-card millions of years before humans existed. Just in case you needed a reminder that we live in the future, and the future is incredibly weird.

(Via National Geographic)