“Unlikely Love: Why Spiders Reject Viral Body Butter as a Mate”

“Like it was legit following the scent.”One person claimed that a wolf spider bit them after they used their wife’s lotion. No because @Sephora here's my wolf spider bite after using some of my wife's lotion and then changing her freaking tire. What many people might mistake as “wolf spiders” are likely house spiders in the Agelenidae family, which behave and chemically interact differently. In other words, the compounds that would attract one species of spider wouldn’t attract another, like wolf spiders or house spiders. Some wolf spiders, for example, user kairomones to avoid larger spiders that might hunt them, or hunt in areas where there’s more prey for them.

Skincare enthusiasts, have no fear – your trusty moisturizer is most likely not attracting any creepy crawlies.

A new product from Sol de Janeiro, dubbed the Delícia Drench Body Butter, has quickly become a must-have among beauty lovers. Boasting ingredients like hyaluronic acid, copaiba resin, passionflower seed oil, and prebiotic hibiscus, this lotion is designed to lock in moisture and rejuvenate dull skin. The brand’s website even promises a “mind-boosting experience” with its scent of velvet plum, vanilla orchid, and sandalwood. Packaged in cute violet jars, this body butter is sure to make an appearance in many beauty hauls and “Get Ready With Me” videos.

Recently, Sol de Janeiro went viral on social media platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter) and Reddit after users claimed that the lotion was attracting, biting, and even wooing wolf spiders. However, according to Catherine Scott, a spider behavioral ecologist and postdoctoral fellow at McGill University’s Lyman Lab, this claim is highly unlikely.

Sol de Janeiro’s lotion may be tempting for humans, but it’s unlikely to be a turn-on for lonely arachnids. Wolf spiders are visual and vibratory hunters, not simply attracted to scents alone. They need to see and sense the presence of a potential mate before making a move.

The fascination with this body butter began with positive reviews praising its hydrating properties and enchanting fragrance. However, things took a darker turn when a Sephora reviewer, known as chemkats, claimed that the scent attracted wolf spiders.

“I wanted to love this product sooo bad, but one of the ingredients is like kryptonite to wolf spiders! Every time I apply it, one will come out,” wrote the concerned reviewer.

They went on to state that they normally only encounter a wolf spider every few years, but since using this lotion, they have seen one almost every day. They even claimed that on one occasion, a spider was so attracted to the scent that it actually chased them.

Others echoed this sentiment, with some claiming that they had been bitten by wolf spiders after using the lotion, and that spiders seemed to be appearing more frequently. However, these claims have been met with skepticism, as it turns out that the reviewer has a history of leaving similar comments on beauty products attracting spiders.

While it’s uncertain whether chemkats is simply trying to have some fun or if they have a legitimate grievance against Sol de Janeiro, one thing is for sure – their claims are dubious and should not be taken seriously.

The hysteria surrounding this body butter has been fueled further by a Reddit thread in which a user claimed that the chemicals in the lotion could be comparable to spider pheromones, thus explaining the reported spider sightings. This theory was based on a 2009 study that identified compounds in female spider webs that could potentially act as pheromones. However, the information cited was highly specific and not applicable to Sol de Janeiro’s product or the wolf spiders being referenced.

Additionally, Sol de Janeiro has issued a statement that all of their products are free from the compounds mentioned in the study, and so should not be attracting spiders.

Scott explains that the difference between pheromones and the chemicals in Sol de Janeiro’s product is significant. Pheromones are used for sexual communication within a species, while the chemicals in the lotion are intended for cosmetic purposes and have no effect on spiders. Furthermore, the compounds that make up spider pheromones only attract specific species, while the claims about the body butter revolve around wolf spiders and house spiders, which are actually two different families of spiders.

So, it seems that the rumor of Sol de Janeiro’s body butter attracting spiders is just that – a rumor. The truth is, spiders are not attracted to beauty products, and the claims being made are highly exaggerated or simply false. While spiders may seem frightening to some, they serve an important role in our ecosystem and should be treated with respect.

If you were hoping to create a spider army with this body butter, we hate to break it to you – that’s just not going to happen. But hey, at least you’ll still be left with smooth and moisturized skin. And in the end, isn’t that all that really matters?

Just remember, don’t believe everything you read on the internet – especially when it comes to beauty and spiders.

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Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

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