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It happens every few years. Not just in Greece, but also parts of the United States.
20 September, 2018
Photo credit: Giannis Giannakopoulos
- Aitoliko, in Western Greece is the town these images are from.
- Tetragnatha is the genus — known as "stretch spiders" because of their elongated bodies.
- They can run faster on water than on land. Don't panic, though: they will be gone in days.
<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODY0NDA4Ni9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMjAxMzk3OH0.b1OgAz3uut68r6yQ1bJxQVDtISlThv-q66o7pTih-8A/img.png?width=980" id="1bc18" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6e09c0a921c86f194c86da3267e57b05" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
From video by Giannis Giannakopoulos<p>In a phenomenon that can should only be in nightmares and Halloween horror films, stretch spiders <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/1-000-feet-of-spider-web-have-taken-over-a-town-in-greece-aitoliko-tetragnatha" target="_blank">have covered</a> the beach of a Western Grecian island lagoon; it's a phenomenon that happens every so often — the last time it was here was in 2003. It's because the spiders are having a bit of a feast right now on swarms of mosquitos. After their gorging, the spiders will follow up with mating.</p><p>Lest you think the end of the world is nigh, though, rest assured that they will only be doing this for a few days.<br></p><p>"When an animal finds abundant food, high temperatures and sufficient humidity, it has the ideal conditions to be able to make large populations," <a href="https://www.newsit.gr/ellada/ayti-einai-i-eksigisi-gia-to-fainomeno-me-tis-araxnes-sto-aitoliko/2618523/" target="_blank">explained</a> molecular biologist Maria Chatzaki from Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. "This phenomenon has arisen from a population explosion of this spider."</p><p><span></span>Still, those of us with arachnophobia will probably sleep a little less well this evening knowing that these little buggers are out there... somewhere. </p>
It's not permanent, and doesn't harm anything. Aside from... you know, your subconscious mind.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODY0NDEwNC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjc5NjQ0Nn0.hgR3mUj0EIuTxLxG6hPbzuQei7-zgWBNAAvg9cOSNiE/img.png?width=980" id="a7b90" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a4b758716dbedf2f61398f4a38603cfd" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
From video by Giannis Giannakopoulos<p>Not to worry about the other living things beneath this all-encompassing web, however.</p><p>"These spiders are not dangerous for humans and will not cause any damage to the area's flora," <a href="https://www.newsit.gr/ellada/ayti-einai-i-eksigisi-gia-to-fainomeno-me-tis-araxnes-sto-aitoliko/2618523/" target="_blank">Chatzaki </a>told the Newsit.gr website. "The spiders will have their party and will soon die."</p><p>But just because they're halfway across the world, doesn't mean it can't happen in the United States. Spiders turned a quiet roadside in Dallas, Texas, <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/thousands-of-spiders-worked-together-to-build-this-giant-communal-web" target="_blank">into a web-laden scene</a>.</p>
But seriously, though... is there an upside?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODY0NDE4My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyOTg2ODY2OH0.-rTgOEz3v2SP624vM3F3zrMMa0WmiYuI67cj3TtB4DQ/img.png?width=980" id="6e44e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2cb6b3d8e6584dd7c76b67a73d633234" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
From video by Giannis Giannakopoulos<p> There is an upside to this. These spiders are feasting on mosquitos as they create these vast, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/20/giant-spiders-web-covers-aitoliko-greek-beach-mating-season" target="_blank">1,000-foot webs</a>. </p><p> Anything that does that is A-OK in my book. </p><p> Here's the full video: </p>
<iframe width="620" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FdXtPMr3vj8" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>
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