A white, wispy blanket of spider webs coated a city in Australia. Photo by Lukas Coch, EPA.
Millions of spiders fell from the sky and left behind a blanket of silky webs in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia earlier this week. Although referred to as “baby spiders”, the tiny spiders are actually adult sheet-web weavers or money spiders.
Sometimes these spiders participate in an event called mass ballooning where all the spiders climb to a high point, like up a pole or tall plant, and then they jump into the air to be carried away by air currents. Every time one jumps, it leaves behind a trail of silk strands. The end result is a wispy blanket of spider webs as pictured above.
For more information, see National Geographic.
A newly discovered spider in Madagascar builds the longest and largest orb webs in the world. The spider, called Darwin’s bark spider, makes webs that stretch for 25 meters. The webs are built over rivers, stretching from bank to bank. The webs can measure up to 2.8 meters square in area, that’s about 30 square feet!
The webs are made of the toughest biomaterial yet discovered. The web needs to be strong because of its size and the amount of weight it holds. The web can catch 30 or more insects at any given time.
Researchers are trying to discover how the spiders build such large webs.
For more about this amazing discovery, visit BBC News.