Beret Guy uses spider psychology (that he has obviously learned from the heavy volume of a book lying on the table with that title) to engineer a forked object in such a way that spiders will weave a silk shirt around it. After six weeks he can take the finished shirt off the "rack", and after optionally removing some stray spiders it should be ready for use.
Usually extracting spider silk is a complicated process and getting enough to weave a shirt would take very long and be very expensive. But making such an impossible project work is a typical behavioral pattern for Beret Guy, who continues to do amazing things with animals and other things from nature.
The prefix arachno- means "(related to) spiders". Arachnology, for example, is the scientific study of spiders. Neurology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system, which includes the brain. So the title of the comic can be translated into the scientific study of spider brains.
The title text mentions the book lying on the table, giving not only the title and the edition (21st) but also summing up some more (non-existent and increasingly far-fetched) fields of science related to spiders, which may as well exist if spider psychology has such a big standard work. Apart from adding the word forensic in one case, all five fields come from combining only the same two words "arachno" and "neuro" (sometimes one of them more than once) and ending any combination with "-ology". Especially funny is the neuro-arachnoneurology, which is explained to be the field where it is the brains of the scientist who study spiders brains, that are examined. The last one seems to be related to arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, as arachnoarachnology is spiders with spiders on top - i.e. too many spiders.
Arachnophobia seems to be a problem for Randall himself, according to the What if? Spiders vs. the Sun. In this he links to an article about a factory that was covered in plenty enough spider web silk to make shirts to a whole regiment of soldiers.
This is the first comic with special mentioning of a science related directly to spiders. The next was 1747: Spider Paleontology.
- [Beret Guy holding a protractor and handling a fork-like stand with black knobbly protrusions. On the table is some sticks, a set square and a ruler. There is also a large book titled:
- Spider Psychology
- [Beret Guy places his creation in a cobwebbed corner.]
- [Spiders weave webs around Beret Guy's creation. One of them hangs down above it from the ceiling.]
- [Beret Guy pulls a shirt made of spider silk away from his creation. At the top of the panel is a frame that breaks the main panels frame. Inside this it says:]
- Six weeks later:
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Somehow, I don't believe that ANY object would make the spiders to weave something so thick as a usable shirt. -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:26, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
- Maybe he arranged the fork thing so that broken and falling spiderwebs would fall in just the right way to form a shirt. It's possible. Davidy22(talk) 09:38, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
- It's beret guy. The same guy with endless wings. What do you expect? 18.104.22.168 13:46, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
However, something similar is used by Canadian artist Aganetha Dyck to persuade bees to create art on forms. An example here: http://inspiration-of-the-nation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Aganetha-Dyck-bee-art.jpg Noni Mausa -- 22.214.171.124 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
It looks more like a sweater to me. J-beda (talk) 14:16, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
I came across the Effect of psychoactive drugs on animals once while researching caffeine and now is the PERFECT time to share. Spiders are right up front. DanB (talk) 16:49, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
- That's super interesting! Thanks for sharing! It's interesting that the article suggests that in contrast to the other drugs, LSD actually caused the spiders to build even more ordered webs than before. Erenan (talk) 16:39, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
I would think that arachnoarachnology would be the study of how spiders study spiders. Or the study of spiders by spiders. Bugefun (talk) 04:50, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Bugefun: That puzzled me too--does "arachno" have some alternate meaning there, or is he just implying that the study of spiders by spiders involves far too many spiders? 126.96.36.199 12:33, 18 November 2012 (UTC) arachnoarachnology = aarrrrch nooo arachnology I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 17:41, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
A few years ago I saw a tapestry made from spider silk and there is an article about it on Wired: [http://www.wired.com/2009/09/spider-silk/] Read the article and you will see that what Beret Guy attempts is possible, though not as simply or quickly as the comic implies.188.8.131.52 03:48, 14 June 2015 (UTC)