I watched The Bad Guys a few weeks ago and enjoyed Ms. Tarantula’s character. But it got me thinking: what if search engines were named after spiders? After all, web crawlers are also known as spiders or spiderbots. So I took a cursory glance at some spider species names and picked out some interesting ones.
The Kimura spider is an Old World spider, found mainly in Japan and named after Japanese botanist Arika Kimura, who collected it in 1920. While not venomous, their bites are still painful.
Why it’s a cool name: it roughly translates as “tree village” in Japanese and there are plenty of positive connotations with trees, branches, and roots and how search engines interconnect. And it just sounds cool!
A turret is a small tower that rises out of a large building, usually a castle or house. They were often used as a defensive measure for the military but now they’re more decorative. Meanwhile, the turret spider is a spider native to Northern California. Fun fact: the females are larger than males!
Why it’s a cool name: while I wouldn’t want to associate search engines with the military, the idea of a turret “looking out” over its land for information makes sense in a Web context.
The banded tunnelweb spider is a spider found exclusively in New Zealand. While little is known about their mating habits and or how long it takes for them to have babies, tunnelweb spiders are old and have fangs similar to pick axes in shape.
Why it’s a cool name: this would be more of a retro name, perfect for the 90s. The kind of search engine that would look to disrupt the market but never quite make it.
The Goliath birdeater is a tarantula found in northern South America, and, as its name suggests, it’s a big spider—in fact, the largest spider in the world by mass. Despite the spider’s name, birds aren’t its common prey.
Why it’s a cool name: firstly, a search engine called Goliath would usurp Google in alphabetical order which has its own advantages. It also carries connotations of being giant and expansive which is a good association to have as a search engine.
Net-casting spiders are from the Deinopidae family and are known for their unique way of catching prey. According to The Australian Museum, they make a small web in the shape of a net which they hold by their front legs and stretch it out wide to trap an unsuspecting insect. They are also known as ogre-faced spiders.
Why it’s a cool name: another 90s-style name which would have had the same alphabetical advantage (this time over Netscape) and it just sounds like a major internet corporation. However, in real life it was the name of a proprietary firmware by LG Electronics that came preinstalled on their smart TVs between 2007 and 2014.
Nigma walckenaeri is a green cribellate spider, known for its shining green abdomen, allowing it to camouflage in the wild. The spider can insects bigger than itself in webs built on leaves.
Why it’s a cool name: Nigma… Nygma… Edward Nygma? The Riddler? Questions? Search engines? Green? It all makes sense!
Do you have any cool spider names you’d turn into search engines? Let me know in the comments!