In the Netflix short film "Beyond the Aquila rift" (spoiler ahead), we see a spaceship and her crew trapped in a spiders web. The spider plays mind games with them, feeding them simulations involving having sex with people they're attracted to and what not.

It's an open-ended film, but my interpretation is that the spider trapped the ship in her web and eventually wants to incorporate the humans into a hive mind she's running (more on this here). For this, she might take the form of someone they're attracted to in simulations she feeds them and repeatedly tries to convince them to "stay with her here". Anytime they start catching on to something being off, she resets the simulation, leaving only a faint, dream-like memory of the previous simulations.

She keeps doing this until the person breaks down and just accepts getting incorporated into the hive.

Now my question - how might such a species of highly intelligent arachnids come about?

Some options I can think of (I think the first is more likely conditional on observing such creatures):

1) The everyday spiders we're aware of one day evolve intelligence and start trapping our inter-stellar ships in this way (presumably staying in stealth mode)?

2) The spider is a completely alien creature not from Earth, happening to share characteristics and strategies with Earth bound arachnids).

This part is tangential to the main question.

Also (and this is a question about hive minds in general), what might life be like as a human mind that has submitted to her hive? Would a mind (say) interested in engineering be able to continue working on engineering problems?

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    $\begingroup$ We're hoping that you edit your question to make a single problem which can have a single identifiably best answer, at the moment it's very broad and has several points you seem to need answering. VTC Too broad. $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2019 at 10:30
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    $\begingroup$ If you wish to rewrite this question to conform with our anatomically correct series of questions, it would be on-topic. As written it is too broad and primarily opinion-based. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Apr 14, 2019 at 19:09

2 Answers 2


So to make it easier to answer, i’m going to break your question down into several sections.


Building a Giant Spider

Firstly, we need to know how such a creature could evolve. Above is a link to a question exploring how a giant spider could be built. Essentially, to make your giant spiders plausible, i suggest user29032’s answer for the biology side of things. Their idea is to make much of the spider’s internal organs more similar to those of a mammal’s than an arachnid’s, allowing them to be scaled up.

As for why your giant spiders are using human’s as a hive mind, i would encourage you to look at Willk’s answer which could offer some insight. The answer focuses on giant spiders being in a caste system, having small ones which poison people before the larger ones come, dragging the prey back to the nest underground.

Applying this to your answer, your giant spider may be a member of the larger caste. However, perhaps they were lost or stranded from their smaller caste. To compensate, the spider started using humans to fill this role and, as humans have digits and can do fine work, it made them very useful to the spider.

Hive Mind

Does a hive mind race need a written language?

Whilst not about spiders, it can be applied to yours. “What would life be like in a hive mind” seems a bit too broad to answer. However, regarding your question of if an engineer could continue to work on engineering problems, the answer is probably yes, and so could the butcher, the baker and the candle stick maker. The reason being is that information could be shared between all members of a hive mind telepathically. Even if the baker has never picked up a spanner is his life, the information could be telepathically transmitted to him, allowing him to repair the engine with ease. This is assuming there is an engineer in the hive mind with that information.

Alternatively, you could rule that information must be transferred verbally or written down and humans in this hive mind still have some degree of individuality remaining from before their incorporation. This would mean that the engineer still knows how to be an engineer but the butcher, the baker and candlestick maker do not.

A further option could be castes, I would advise you to look into bees or ants. Essentially you could have a caste of engineers and technicians, a caste of generalised drones, another of fighters, a caste of nurses etc. This way you have different groups (similar to our own societies) which specialise into different areas and have a different set of skills depending on what their role is. An engineer gets put into the engineer caste, for example.


If it had that kind of telepathy, couldn’t they be the regular spiders or people we see everyday and just project that way, it would’ve evolved as predatory defense to keep us from attacking them and culling the population as a food source. It’s like a twist on simulation theory, instead of the matrix telepathic spiders

  • $\begingroup$ For me, it's more likely the spider traps the humans and puts their minds through computer simulations, much like a video game. This would be much easier than telepathically controlling a complex human mind. $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2019 at 5:48
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    $\begingroup$ I don’t mean full control per say, but influence and surveillance through projection. $\endgroup$
    – Travis
    Apr 14, 2019 at 5:54

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