Opening up nest attached to Aussie home's wall 'unlocks new fear'

While some viewers were shocked by the contents of the insect's nest, others think it's "cool".

The picture on the left shows a mud wasp nest attached to a house. The one on the right shows two hands holding a mud wasp nest with paralysed spiders inside..
Several paralysed spiders were pulled from a mud wasp nest during a viral video. Source: Ben Dessen

The world’s “worst unboxing video” is how some internet users have jokingly referred to it. And its Aussie creator admits what he’s filmed is “shocking” for some viewers.

“Normally with unboxing videos people unwrap a new gift or new product they've purchased. And viewers never quite know what you're going to pull out,” Ben Dessen told Yahoo News. “But with mine you get all these tiny little paralysed spiders.

As a wildlife expert and conservationist, Dessen doesn’t often get “grossed out” by spiders or other creepy crawlies. “I'm more curious and fascinated,” he said. It was his excitement about the natural world that prompted him to create his video about mud wasps and their prey.

Related: Strange wasp nest discovered inside home

Like Dessen you’ve probably noticed their small nests fixed between bricks on houses, but unlike him you probably haven’t opened one up.

What Dessen’s video shows is the methodical dissection of a mud wasp nest with tweezers. And judging by the response, he’s not the only person who’s intrigued by them — over 4 million people have viewed it on TikTok and Instagram.

Related: Strange wasp nest discovered inside home

"That's so cool. What the hell. Gosh insects insects amaze me," on viewer wrote. "Omg all of the jumping spiders," another added.

Others were a little less enthusiastic about the world of wasps, with many saying "I could have lived my whole life without knowing this." Another first thought they'd had a "new fear unlocked" but then joked it was more like "old fears consolidated into one easy-to-manage, low-cost terror-stricken payment".

Dessen begins his video by holding up a mud wasp nest and saying, “Did you know what’s inside them?” "They are full of paralysed spiders," he reveals.

The nest he found had fallen from the side of a house and was damaged. Because the wasp inside was likely compromised, he felt okay with looking inside, and pulling out at least seven spiders.

Dessen concedes his description of why the spiders are in the nest “sounds like something out of a horror movie”. But he wants his viewers not to judge the wasp who put them there to harshly.

“Some people think it's disgusting. Some people think it's shocking. But that's the reality of nature. It can be quite harsh and quite disturbing sometimes,” he said.

A picture showing a wasp carrying mud. Three facts about mud wasps are written on the image: Mud wasps are solitary creatures, Some wasps prefer caterpillars to spiders, They are not aggressive and usually sting only when provoked.
Mud wasps play an important role in nature and are generally no danger to humans. Picture: Getty

A mother mud wasp builds her nest using mud and saliva. Her next step involves paralysing spiders using her sting, which she then places inside the nest. She then births a single baby, which during its larva stage will feed on the spiders. Because they are still alive, the spiders remain juicy and full of nutrients.

In Dessen’s video, all of the creatures he pulls out are jumping spiders. That’s because mud wasps all favour different types of prey.

“Some of them were freshly captured, so they're quite well preserved, and obviously still alive and just paralysed,” he said.

“Some of the spiders had been dead for a little while, so they've sort of dried up. You never quite know what you're going to pull out when you dissect a mud wasp nest.”

Mud wasps generally pose no danger to humans and like most creatures only sting when provoked. Dessen is the director of Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in NSW.

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