This Ancient Spider Got Trapped in Amber with a Giant Boner

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  • Don’t you love it when you read an article about something and you can tell the author had a lot of fun writing it?

    This piece in National Geographic by Michael Greshko begins with the headline, “Fossil Daddy Longlegs Sports a 99-Million-Year Erection,” and just keeps getting better from there.

    An ancient harvestman, distantly related to the modern daddy longlegs, was discovered preserved in amber while fully aroused, as you can see from the photograph of the fossil with the word “Penis” and a large white arrow pointing at it. “Amber exquisitely [exquisitely!] preserves the fully erect penis of Halitherses grimaldii,” the caption reads.

    The article also includes the gleeful sub-heading “Longtime Members” and the phrase “the arachnids’ long track record excites scientists” – and that last one could just be me trying to make everything sound dirty, but come on.

    There is also speculation on what exactly the harvestman was doing moments before he got trapped – had his girlfriend just fled from his amorous advances, or did the struggle to free himself from the tree resin cause an inadvertent boner? Because that’s pretty embarrassing either way.