A free film screening of Maratus will be held at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre this Saturday in celebration of World Environment Day.
This captivating film follows Stuart Harris, an amateur photographer from Canberra, as he takes a chance photo of a vibrantly coloured jumping spider and posts it online.
It turns out the spider had never been recorded before, sparking global attention, including that of Sydney-based jumping spider expert and scientist Dr Jurgen Otto.
The film then follows the fascinating and often hilarious journey of these two men – one who is colour-blind and the other who is scared of spiders – over three years in their quest to find the colourful five-millimetre Peacock Spider again.
“This is a truly heart-warming story not only because Stuart and Jurgen are the most unlikely pair you can imagine taking on this quest together, but also because it demonstrates that there is still so much about the world we don’t know and are yet to discover,” Office of Environment and Heritage community engagement project officer Liz Crane said.
“Stuart’s chance sighting of this undiscovered Peacock Spider species is also the perfect example of how everyday citizens are making amazing scientific discoveries around the world.
“Citizen science is a growing pastime with around 130,000 Australians now contributing valuable data to over 90 projects.”
Harris and the film’s director Simon Cunich will attend the screening and will run a short Q&A about the film after the screening.
OEH regional biodiversity conservation officer Paul Hillier will give a presentation about threatened species, specific to the Cessnock region.
The free event will run from 12pm to 3pm and light refreshments will be available after the Q&A session.
Book your seat at cessnock-peacock-spider-film.eventbrite.ie.
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