Sunday, June 21, 2015

Kalahari Ferrari

Allow me to introduce you to the humble solifuge.  Also known as the camel spider, the wind scorpion and the sun spider.  It grows up to six inches long and looks as though it could kill you with a single glance, though those lying bastards at Wikipedia say they are in fact harmless to humans.  Not that anyone with any sense would hang around long enough to find out.  They are a type of arachnid, but are neither spider nor scorpion.  They prefer to live in dry climates - like the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa where they are known as the Kalahari Ferrari.  They move liked greased lightening and are photophobic, which means of course that they hate people who take selfies.  Don't worry, I'm joking.  It means that they don't like light, especially bright light.  This causes much hilarity amongst humans because when a solifuge is caught out in the open during the day they will race at high speed towards the nearest shade - even if the nearest shade is the shadow of a human.  naturally, seeing this monstrous creature charging towards them the human squeals and runs in the opposite direction, waving their arms and screaming "aaiii-eeee!" as loudly as they possibly can.  Of course the solifuge follows the shadow, and the human, thinking that the beast has got it in for him or her starts running around in circles in a desperate attempt to escape, while his or her so called friends stand around laughing.  That is they laugh until the solifuge's target shadow and that of the amused spectator's intersect, at which point the solifuge starts chasing the spectator's shadow.  It is then their turn to run around shrieking in terror until their shadow and someone else's intersect and so on and so forth, like a game of tag for people with no sense of direction.  So far my staff have not encountered one of these creatures on their travels, but I look forward to the day that they do.  Can you imagine their irate seagull impressions echoing across the African continent?  "Faaaaark! Faaaaaaaaaark!  Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaark!"

The solifuge. Six inches of pure evil.

The name Kalahari Ferrari is remarkably apt when you think about it, since both the Kalahari and Italian variety of Ferrari tend to spend most of their time in dark holes (or garages as they are sometimes known) and when on the rare occasions that they are seen in daylight both types tend to zoom around aimlessly and never actually go anywhere.

Their diet consists almost entirely of camels (hence the camel spider moniker), which they consume whole while the camel is sleeping by dislocating their jaws which open surprisingly wide for such a small animal.  (Baboon spiders kill and eat baboons in the same way.)  Once the majority of the camel has been digested, the hump is regurgitated.  Solifuges are quite health conscious and camel humps are very fatty.  It is a little known fact that nearly all desert sand dunes began as a camel hump discarded by a solifuge.  Over the millennia, wind blown sand piles up against the hump and gradually builds up.  If you dig down below the tallest dunes in Namibia you will find a perfectly preserved discarded camel hump, mummified by the arid climate.  Not so surprising is that consuming an entire camel in one sitting inflicts terrible indigestion on the unfortunate solifuge.  If when strolling through the desert you hear loud burping and farting coming from under a rock or from inside a hollow log it will almost certainly be a solifuge, or my male staff, both are equally likely.  This is of course how the solifuge became known as the wind scorpion in certain parts of the world.

The baboon spider. The world's only primate eating arachnid.

Now some of my smarter readers might be beginning to doubt the truth in what I am telling you about the solifuge.  I can hear you all muttering under your coffee and chocolate chip cookie scented breath  (That would be Earl Grey tea and digestive biscuit scented breath in Britain of course.)  "Hang on just one cotton pickin' minute there Billy.  I don't think I can believe all that you are telling me about this solifuge creature.  In fact," I hear you mumble, "I have the distinct feeling that you are taking the piss."  Okay, I admit it.  I throw my paws up in acknowledgement and contrition.  Certain things that I have stated as fact in the above paragraph might not be entirely true.  For one thing, solifuges do not feed entirely on camels.  No animal could eat nothing but camels, that would really give you the hump.  No, at least fifty five percent of the solifuge's diet is made up of goats and cattle which it dispatches and consumes in the same way while local loincloth clad, spear toting herdsmen are distracted by their smartphones. These herdsmen often mistakenly put their stock losses down to lions, leopards and hyenas.

So there you have it.  The solifuge.  Google them, They're amazing.


Woah! Dudes, if I eva like sore wun of those things hedding my way there'd be like this Mount Kilimanjaro sized pile of bush chocolate behind me and you woodunt see me four dust..............and bush chocolate.  I'd be like up Uncal Billy's male staff's leg beefour he could evun say "Hay Baci! It's time yoo had yor clores cut!"


  1. SO, why are you thinking about spiders, anyway?

  2. I'd rather not, but sometimes spiders just pop into my head while I'm asleep.
    In one ear and out the other.