A woman who owns more than 100 arachnids broke open a tarantula egg sac, filled with dozens of tiny spiderlings.
Rachellmvriee, who posts under the name Tarantula Creep Show, has 111 tarantulas, and she successfully mated a breeding pair. Rachellmvriee, from Ohio, shared a proud clip to the site showing off the mom with her egg sac, which can be seen here.
In it, a hairy tarantula can be seen in their enclosure, with a white ball beneath them, with Rachellmvriee using tweezers to pry the sac away from her.
“I pulled my first ever tarantula egg sac from mom. She was not happy,” the on-screen captions say, as it added the tarantula was “looking for the egg sac.”
In the background she can be heard saying: “I know I’m sorry.” The text on screen continues, saying: “Feels heavy and healthy. Little eggs with legs. Good sight. I’m shaking from happiness. Incubator time. Look at them, all healthy.”
The 28-year-old opens up the egg sac to reveal dozens of yellow balls, resembling popcorn kernels that have tiny translucent legs. The video, shared at the end of July, grabbed viewers’ attentions, racking up more than 13 million views.
But people were alarmed that the babies were taken away from their mom, with Thekillmonger1011 saying: “If only spiders didn’t evolve over millions of years to be able to take care of their babies significantly better than you. Oh wait.”
“Or just like, let mother nature and mama spider do their thing,” Jasmine Payment wrote.
Saul Torres added: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”
Rachellmvriee posted follow-up videos showing the mother was fine, while explaining why she put the eggs in an incubator.
She explained: “I thought I’d give you guys a little fun fact. Tarantulas have so many babies because not every specimen is going to make it to be an adult. In the wild they will get a parasite, they will get eaten by a tarantula hawk, they will just die from exposure, everything. So not every single one is going to make it to be an adult.
“They have so many so that way they make sure at least a couple of them become adults. And reproduce. Even in captivity with the best care not every single specimen will make it to be an adult. You will have random deaths for seemingly no reason. That’s just how it is.”
And in a separate clip, after receiving numerous comments on the subject, Rachellmvriee confirmed she gave the mom a big cockroach, and she was “fine.”
“For everyone out there who thinks it’s cruel or that I’m a terrible person, I’m not,” she stated.
“It’s not cruel, she’s not sad, she does not know what sad is, she’s a spider. She has the instinct to protect the egg sac that’s it. Once it’s gone, out of sight out of mind. Give her some food, she’s good. She will not remember that I did that, she doesn’t know who I am, she doesn’t know what captivity is.
“It makes sure that the babies are happy, healthy, mom doesn’t eat them or dunk them in the water if I walked in the room and annoyed her. So it was to make sure all the babies survive. They’re put in an incubator, they’re safe, just like they would be in the egg sac, it’s the same thing.”
Addressing commenters, she added: “You’re humanizing them by thinking that I’m cruel and she’s just depressed over this now. Stop humanizing spiders, and I don’t mean that to be mean.”
She admitted she did feel emotional removing the eggs, continuing: “It made me sad to pull the egg sac. I was like, oh my god. Of course I’m a human I have emotions, she doesn’t have emotions.”
Rachellmvriee has been sharing numerous clips as the baby spiders develop, with her most recent shared last week. They’re coming on in leaps and bounds, despite it being a few years before they’ll reach adulthood.
She also showed the difference between healthy eggs and bad ones, with one egg that didn’t develop remaining perfectly round, while some were “dried out underdeveloped eggs.”
Explaining the early stages, Rachellmvriee said: “Before a tarantula’s first molt they are called eggs with legs, here’s what they look like. These aren’t fully developed spiderlings. After their first molt they look more like tarantulas but they still rely on the egg for nutrients instead of eating bugs.
“This is called first instar, which means their first molt. Their second molt, second instar, will be fully developed tarantulas.” Later that day, she gave another update, saying: “They’re getting darker now that it’s been a few hours since they molted. They’re not nearly see-through anymore.”
She added that she’s set to make $400 “at most” from selling the hatchlings when they’re finally ready, and also shared a video of the father. She confirmed she separated the mom and dad before the female could eat the male.
Newsweek reached out to Rachellmvriee for comment.