Spiders are those creatures that people are either okay with or absolutely terrified of. The fear of spiders is the most common fear in America. For the most part, spiders are unavoidable throughout the world. Spiders inhabit every continent, except Antarctica, because it’s too cold.
If you have a deathly fear of spiders, going to extremely cold places is the only way to avoid them completely. When you think of cold places, Alaska may come to mind. So, are there spiders in Alaska?
Despite the frigid temperatures Alaska can experience, spiders do live in Alaska! The Last Frontier has over 600 species of spiders that inhabit the state. Spiders living in Alaska shouldn’t come as a shock because civilization has only explored roughly 160,000 acres of the states 365 million acres. This leaves plenty of wilderness for spiders to live undisturbed.
What Kind of Spiders Live in Alaska?
Over 600 species of spiders live in Alaska, but you’ll rarely see one spider for every species there is. The type of spiders you’ll see the most often in Alaska is the cobweb spider.
These spiders are comparable to the traditional house spiders you’ll find around the world. Like a common house spider, they’re harmless to humans and help eliminate household pests like roaches, mosquitoes, and moths. The other two common spider species that you may encounter in Alaska are jumping spiders and Hacklemesh Weavers.
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What is the Largest Spider in Alaska?
The largest species of spiders in Alaska are fishing spiders. The leg span on fishing spiders can reach three inches in length. Even if you’re not afraid of spiders, the size of these creepy crawlies is enough to intimidate anyone.
Alaska has over 6,000 miles of coastline, giving these spiders plenty of places to call home. You’ll usually find them near the water, hence their name fishing spiders. Sometimes they will venture into the woods to hunt on land. They’re capable of ambushing prey on the ground or submerging themselves in calm water to catch a meal that way.
These spiders are not considered to be poisonous to humans. All spiders contain venom, but what makes them toxic to humans is how the toxin affects the blood. Fishing spiders aren’t poisonous, but you will have an adverse reaction if you happen to be allergic to their venom.
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How Do Spiders Survive the Cold Weather?
If you already thought spiders were weird or creepy, you’re going to find the way they stay alive during the cold weather, even stranger. Or you may find it fascinating, who knows.
Spiders have the ability to perform what is called cold hardening. When the temperature begins to drop, spiders will perform cold hardening, which releases a chemical that acts as an anti-freeze in their body. This helps their bodily fluids from freezing solid in the winter. This helps them survive in temperatures as low as 23 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Do Spiders Live in the Arctic Circle?
So spiders can survive in freezing weather. But a good portion of Alaska is in the Arctic Circle. Do the spiders that live in Alaska only live in the areas, not in the Arctic Circle?
The Arctic Circle only has about 60 days a year where the temperatures are high enough for planets to grow. But there are hundreds of species of spiders that can and do live in the Arctic.
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The Climate in Alaska
Everyone assumes that Alaska is freezing cold all year. While Alaska is a very cold state, depending on where you’re at, you won’t have freezing temperatures 365 days a year. If you’re in the Arctic Circle areas of Alaska, you will experience very cold weather all year.
But, if you visit Fairbanks, you’ll be surprised at how warm it can get during the summer. During the summer months, temperatures can reach into the 80s and even 90s in Fairbanks! When you’re in Anchorage, you’re closer to the coastline.
Being closer to the Gulf of Alaska brings chillier weather. The summers in Anchorage reach into the 50s and 60s, which is still much warmer than their summer temperatures up in Utqiagvik. This town’s summer temperatures only reach into the 40s.
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Alaska Sees How Many Hours of Daylight?
During the summer months or summer solstice, as many call it, parts of Alaska will see almost 24 hours of daylight a day. Depending on where in Alaska you are, there are anywhere from 18 to 24 hours of daylight from early June to early July.
The further north you are, the more daylight you’ll have. For example, in Fairbanks, you’ll see about 22 hours of daylight, and just a little bit north of this town, you’ll have sunlight for 24 hours. Anchorage is further south and sees about 19 hours, and Juneau has a little over 18 hours. When they see almost 24 hours of sunlight, there are portions of the year where many places see close to 24 hours of darkness.
Alaska officially joined the United States on January 3, 1959.
Alaska has a pretty decent-sized population, for most of it is unexplored. The population in Alaska in 2019 was roughly 731,000. It rose slightly in 2020 by a few thousand people.
Alaskan Natives cover the entire state. There are 231 federally recognized Alaskan Native Tribes. The five major Alaskan Native groupings are Southern Eskimos (Yuit), Northern Eskimos (Inupiat), Aleuts, Southeast Coastal Indians (Tlingit and Haida), and Interior Indians (Athabascans). These groupings are based on linguistic similarities between tribes in the areas and do not mean that each tribe in one location is the same.
Alaska has eight national parks, making it the state with the second-most national parks after California. The eight parks are Glacier Bay national park, Katmai national park, Kenai Fjords national park, Lake Clark national park, Wrangell St. Elias national park, Denali national park, Kobuk Valley national park, and the Gate of the Arctic national park.
What about snakes? Are there any snakes in Alaska?
The main reason you won’t often if ever, seen snakes in the wild in Alaska is because of how cold the state is. But, read the whole story in our post.