Pycnogonids by Cliff Pickover

Pycnogonids, or "sea spiders," are among the strangest creatures on Earth. Giant pycnogonids are featured in the science-fiction novel Spider Legs, cowritten with Piers Anthony. In the novel, giant sea spiders terrorize people on the Newfoundland shores.

About 600 species are known. They are mostly small forms not over 10mm long, although some of the deep-sea forms may reach several feet in length.

Pycnogonids are carnivorous animals that suck out the juices of their prey. The sea spider's digestive system extends into the legs. Sea spiders are more common in the cold Arctic and Antarctic seas than they are elsewhere, although they are found in all seas.

Images of Pycnogonids

Pycnogonids on the Web

Here are some favorite pycnogonid web pages.
  1. Pycnogonid introduction and image of fossil
  2. Pycnogonida
  3. Sea Hare Predators - Pycnogonids (Sea Spiders)

Pycnogonids Featured in Science Fiction

Sushi Never Sleeps is a science-fiction novel that includes very scary intelligent spiders, terrorizing the inhabitants of Westchester County, New York. The main character, Garth, keeps a pet pycnogonid! Click here to learn more.

The eco-terrorism novel Spider Legs features huge pycnogonids.

We will add more novels featuring pycnogonids as we become aware of them.

Return to Cliff Pickover's home page which includes the Wishing Project cataloging wishes from various cultures, computer art, educational puzzles, fractals, virtual caverns, JAVA/VRML, alien creatures, black hole artwork, and animations.