Why Thousands of Spiders Are Crawling in the Skies Over Brazil

And no sleep will be had by me tonight:

Last week, spiders descended in droves upon a town in southern Brazil — literally.

When 20-year-old web designer Erick Reis left a friend’s house on Sunday, he saw what looked like thousands of spiders overhead, reported G1, a Brazilian news site, on Feb. 8. The large, sturdy spiders were hanging from power lines and poles, and crawling around on a vast network of silk strands spun over the town of Santo Antonio da Platina.

Reis did what many of us might do: He pulled out his camera and shot a video of spiders seemingly falling from the sky.

As creeptastic is it may be, “The phenomenon observed is not really surprising,” said Leticia Aviles, who studies social spiders at the University of British Columbia. “Either social or colonial spiders may occur in large aggregations, as the one shown in the video.” The reason, she and others say, is simple: This is how they hunt.

9 comments

  1. Of all the things to do in that situation, standing underneath a canvas of spiders isn’t one of them. I just kept thinking of the closing scenes from “Kingdom of the Spiders” when the whole town was covered in webs: http://youtu.be/G27P7ZqAWoA

    1. First, I have not (and cannot) watch the video above. Too many shudders to be had by me…. gah!
      Second, Kingdom of the Spiders heightened my arachnophobia to a completely new astronomical level many, many years ago in my teens. Thanks for the reminder that the movie of my nightmares still exists Mike K…

  2. When 20-year-old web designer … large, sturdy spiders were hanging from power lines and poles, and crawling around on a vast network of silk strands spun over the town of Santo Antonio da Platina.

    I bet they showed him who’s a web designer.

  3. The only thing I could think of the entire video was I wonder how hard it is to get a flame throw in Brazil.

  4. I know of a lot people who would be running screaming. Although I’m pretty relaxed normally with spiders, I think even I would be on edge under those.

    Love the YouTube comment:
    “this requires a? nuclear solution”

  5. “This is how they hunt.”

    Well, goodbye!

    (packs a bag, throws his towel over his shoulder, and pulls out his Thumb trying to get the attention of a passing flying saucer.)

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