As if finding a lone spider and its web isn’t scary enough, just imagine walking onto a field covered by the webs of a thousand arachnids!
On Sunday, Tracey Maris and her family were spending a wonderful morning at Gordon Spratt Reserve in Papamoa, New Zealand when they noticed something glistening on a nearby hill.
They went up for a closer look, but upon reaching the top, they realised what that shimmering thing was: a 30m cobweb!
“So my 10-year-old daughter and I raced up to look and were shocked to learn it was all spider web,” Maris told Newshub. “Kind of yuck, but really beautiful at the same time.”
Initially, they thought the nest was abandoned, but a few moments later, the creepy crawlies started crawling towards them. Eek!
“We walked further up, and our feet started getting stuck in the cobwebs – and then we noticed little black things on top,” she added.
“So as you do we screamed really loudly. Oh my god, they were everywhere – literally thousands of them.”
Maris, creeped out yet somehow still fascinated by the phenomenon, took a quick photo of the field before making a hasty escape.
Back home, she learned that the phenomenon happens when arachnids use their webs to flee to higher ground whenever there’s a flood. She speculates that the flooding caused by Cyclone Cook resulted in the rare sight.
“…with smaller spiders,” explained Canterbury Museum curator and spider expert Dr Cor Vink, “… they will point their bums in the air and release a line of silk, it’s called ballooning. The wind picks them up, releases them along the way and they land and that piece of silk lands with them.
“It’s like spider parachutes.”