Growing up there were times where food was scarce. This meant that when holiday feasts came around, I was storing up for the lean months ahead. Grandpa would always accuse me of having a hollow leg. My aunt would follow up with “make that 2 hollow legs.” Looking at the 2020-2021 holiday season, who has the holiday hollow leg?
Food to Weight Ratios
Our New Year plans were blocked by Covid quarantines. We decided to ensure the food we had gathered for friends would not go to waste. My evening consumption included:
- Kahuna sized Poke Bowl
- 2 large tacos
- Half a bowl of cheese filled pretzel bites
- 1/3 bucket of Eclairs
- Family size bag of peanut M&Ms
- 1 complete Marie Calendar’s Pie (split flavor between Dutch Apple & Razzleberry)
- 2/3 jar of Tostitos Salsa con Queso & Chips
This may seem like a lot of food. Guessing by the scale the next morning, It weighed about 10 lbs. This would account for about 6.5% of my body weight. While this sounds impressive (or quite grotesque depending on perspective), it is nothing compared to the common holiday guest: the spider. Yes, spiders can consume 100% of their body weight in food!
How Do We Manage This?
For me, managing that amount of food took some mental focus, my legendary dual hollow leg system, and enduring slight stomach discomfort in exchange for more pampering of my taste buds.
For spiders, long legs allow for their abdomen to expand significantly as they stilt around their webs in the corners of our homes. More interestingly, they can do more than unbutton the jeans and really let the belly expand. They also have storage compartments in their legs that allow food to be stored to carry them through some potential future lean times. My proverbial hollow legs are a naturally selected reality for the arachnid world.
Hollow Legs – Multi-Use
Have you ever noticed that even certain small spiders can build intricate web patterns like their larger orb-weaver counterparts? Maybe you haven’t thought about this, but it is quite the feat considering the amount of body space available to brain size and function. This leads to the other intriguing use of spider legs : brain overflow.
In order to take advantage of available space, small spiders’ brains can form to fill their body cavities and overflow into their legs. This is incredibly Halloween creepy, truly awesome, and intellectually inspiring.
I’ve always had a love for learning and been accused of being brainy. Maybe my hollow legs have been overflow storage for all the learning I enjoy. Considering recent research into how the entire nervous system is part of the brain rather than just the mound of mush in my head, perhaps this is somewhat accurate. If nothing else, we have the power to fabricate this. All we need is a pair of cargo pants and a smartphone linked to a search engine and voila! Brain overflow storage into leg hollows.
Hasta Luego Hollow Leggers!
Spiders are cool, however even I don’t think people should have to live with them. Let’s keep them where they belong – outside where they can get plenty to eat and not spook us as they dart across the floor. The spider specialists at Rove Pest Control have a treatment plan to keep spiders out of sight and out of mind.