CNN reported that a group of researchers in Thailand found a tarantula (a large type of spider) during a scientific trip in the southern province of Phang Nga.
The aim of the trip was to explore the diversity of tarantulas and their distribution in the country.
“We found a new species of tarantula that is characterized by a bluish-violet color, similar to the luster of electric blue (one of the shades of sky blue),” said researcher in entomology and plant pathology Narin Chomphuang.
Researchers found this spider living in a mangrove forest (trees that grow in salt water), and a few days ago a research recording the discovery of the new animal was published in the scientific journal ZooKeys.
Among the team was a wildlife YouTuber named Gocho Sibawat, noting that some of the team members had discovered another unknown species of tarantula in the past.
The team is working to sell the right to name the new discovered species, in an attempt to promote practical discoveries, raise awareness, and support the indigenous people known as the “Lahu” in northern Thailand.
“Blue is one of the rarest colors in nature, which makes its presence in animals particularly fascinating,” Chomphovoang said.
According to the researchers, the blue color is caused by the harmony of what is known as “photonic nanostructures”, and not as a result of dyes.
The blue in these spiders comes specifically from the nature of the structure of their hair, which includes nanostructures that manipulate light, leading to the appearance of this striking color.
The rarity of blue in nature can be attributed to difficulties in absorbing and reflecting specific types of wavelengths of light, according to the researchers.
“In order for the blue color to appear, the plant needs to absorb a small amount of energy while reflecting high-energy blue light, which is difficult to do,” Chomphovuang explains.
The unique color of these spiders comes from two types of hair that are distinguished by two different colors: metallic blue and bluish-violet, and are found on different parts of the body.
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