WATCH: Spiders build giant shared web in Brazil sky

/ 05:53 PM January 16, 2019

What is one to do when confronted with hundreds of spiders in the sky?

The residents of Espírito Santo do Dourado, around 250 kilometers northeast of São Paulo, Brazil were taken by surprise when a giant spider web filled with hundreds of spiders appeared in the sky, as per a Facebook post by netizen Cecilia Juninho Fonseca on Jan. 4.


The video, which had gone viral, has garnered over 390,000 views, as of this writing.


Posted by Cecilia Juninho Fonseca on Friday, January 4, 2019

João Pedro Martinelli Fonseca, the student who filmed the occurrence during his visit to his grandparents’ farm, said he was “stunned and scared” after seeing the spiders, reported The Guardian on Jan. 11.

His grandmother, Jercina Martinelli told local newspaper Terra do Mandu on Jan. 6 that the spiders appear at dusk whenever the weather is hot.

Scientists, however, stated that there is nothing to be worried about since the phenomenon is normal for regions experiencing hot and humid weather. Federal University of Minas Gerais professor Adalberto dos Santos identified the spiders as “parawixia bistriata,” a species known for building shared webs.

Apparently, spiders also have an ability called “ballooning” which is to fly for hundreds of kilometers.

In a study conducted by the School of Biological Sciences in the University of Bristol, United Kingdom published at the scientific journal Current Biology in July 2018, a spider’s ballooning behavior was found to be linked to electric fields.


Spiders can detect the weak electronic fields in the atmosphere which then become the trigger for ballooning. Scientists found out that spiders only do “tiptoeing” — straightening their legs and raising their abdomen to release silk — in response to the electric fields.

The research also revealed that the sensory hairs in spiders’ exoskeleton also respond to electric fields. The experts inferred that spiders can feel the electric charge in the atmosphere, the same way they detect the breeze in the air. JB


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TOPICS: ballooning, Brazil, Sao Paulo, spider web, spiders, Web
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