Filipino Spider Fights

Filipino Spider Fights

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I think we all know that when people decide to imbibe alcohol, crazy and often ridiculous antics tend to follow. The classic bar fight is one popular example of the drunken antics men will get into. Well, apparently fighting while under the influence is something that men across many cultures seem to share. Filipinos claim to love a good fight, and it is not surprising to come across drunken men fighting on summer night in the suburbs, with people from the neighboring homes emerging from their homes to witness the brawls. But their enjoyment of fights didn’t stop at people. Thus came about the practice of matching up two spiders to fight each other till the death, an event dubbed “spider derbies.”

Catching spiders to pit against each other, much like dog or chicken fights, seems to have been quite popular amongst children as well as adults in the Philippines. They started out just finding whatever spiders they could outside to use in these fights, but as the derbies became increasingly popular, people began to seek out spider breeds that were the best for fighting. The breeding of perfect derby spiders for these fights became a rather lucrative practice, with people readily purchasing the best spider for a fight, and gambling also becoming part of the event, with people betting on which spider would come out on top of the match.

These spider derbies were fairly simple affairs in practice. A referee moderates numerous rounds of spiders fighting against each other till the death. Spiders can earn points by knocking their opponent about in some way, but the true winner is the spider that ends up making their opponent their dinner. The bettors of the triumphant spider then collect their winnings, and the crowd moves on to the next pair of fighters to cheer and bet over. While these spider fights were very popular in the past, they have become quite rare these days, so you’ll have to resort to Youtube now to witness one.

Have you ever seen a spider fight? Do you know of any other practice where people pit different insects against each other?


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