The World’s Prettiest Tarantula

Prettiest tarantula? Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the spider you see here won the Best in Show title at the 29th Annual Exhibition of the British Tarantula Society. It’s like the Westminster Dog Show, except for tarantulas.

The winner of this year's Best in Show was a Socotra Island Blue Baboon spider owned by Mike Dawkins, a relative newcomer to the tarantula-keeping community who had entered the competition for the first time.

"It was my first entry," said a delighted Dawkins, who started keeping tarantulas in 2011 and has already built up a menagerie of about 60. "I was very surprised to win Best African Species, let alone the Best in Show. That really shocked me."

The folks who belong to the British Tarantula Society are serious about their pets, which you can tell because they’ve had these competitions 28 times in the past. Contestants travel from as far as America and Hong Kong to compete and show off their prize tarantulas. Find out more about the event and the organization behind it at National Geographic News. See a slideshow of the top finishers at Wired. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Peter Kirk, British Tarantula Society)

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