Opiliones Over Seattle!

Visitors to the Seattle Space Needle will get a special arachnid surprise when they look out over the observation platform! Two humongous harvestman spiders have been painted on the roof of the Seattle Center Armory by scientific illustrator and muralist Marlin Peterson. From his website it’s clear that he has a soft spot for arachnids of all kinds.  What a treat to get to celebrate such graceful and delicate creatures on such a colossal scale! As Marlin tells it,

“My mural will be 2 huge, huge Opiliones arachnids hanging out like we always see them, casually and vertically on a wall or roof.  They will be approximately 1 zillion times life-size, depending on the site I get.  I chose them because of the cool way their long legs cast shadows, and that they are not threatening- they don’t have venom, fangs, and thus don’t bite humans.  They are a familiar sight here in Seattle and contrary to popular belief, they are not even spiders!”

To make a trompe l’oeil with so much shadow-work and at such a size just staggers my brain cells. It’s truly an inspired mural, and it was made possible thanks to a Washington arts grant. Last time I visited Seattle I skipped going up the Space Needle.. but that was before it was surrounded by giant invertebrates. Now I have to go! z end

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