Friday, August 6, 2010

The results are in: Spider vs Conker myth debunked

One of the first blog posts I ever posted on here was about a challenge set by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) to discover the truth about that old wives' tale that spiders are repelled by horse chestnuts.

Now, Year 5 and 6 pupils at Roselyon School in Cornwall have won the challenge and demonstrated conclusively that the theory is false and they've bagged a £300 prize into the bargain.

RSC spokesman Jon Edwards said: "When we consulted a spider expert at the Natural History Museum he was highly sceptical about the spider theory. We even tried it ourselves but couldn't reach a scientific conclusion. The Roselyon entry stood out from the crowd because of the balanced, scientific methods and well designed experiments. They should be proud of their fair mindedness, scientific rigour and logical thinking."

Andrew Ferguson, science teacher at the school, said: "Many people are scared of spiders - but our children are not among them and were not worried abut handling them. The children are thrilled that their efforts have won this prize. Apart from being good fun, the project provided an invaluable learning experience. Many people are terrified of spiders, but one other thing our video also demonstrated is that Roselyon children are not among them."

A video detailing the work of the school on the project can be viewed below.

4 comments:

Anonymous November 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

Hi Eoin,
Its the chestnuts that need to look out:http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010224.
Good luck with the Spiders!
John Sull.

Anonymous August 31, 2011 at 2:04 PM  

but they didnt test them on any giant house spiders, they are the ones I want to repel!! I live on the edge of Epping Forest and will be collecting lots of conkers, to put around the house and test this theory, as we are getting lots of huge giant house spiders in the house recently, the first time in 4 years!! I am desperate to find anything to put them off as I am so scared of them!!

Eoin Lettice August 31, 2011 at 10:13 PM  

Sorry to hear you're having an invasion of spiders!
Let us know whether your experiment works!

John Doc. September 17, 2014 at 6:47 AM  

I believe you're supposed to drill a hole or two through the Conker, to release the aroma of the 'flesh' itself.
I've read it's that that the Spider's dislike.

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