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(Giannis Giannakopoulos)

Spiders Have Exploded Over This Greek Town, Coating Everything in a 1,000-Foot Web

It's a little early for Halloween!

JACINTA BOWLER
20 SEP 2018

If you aren't fond of spiders, this scene will sound like a nightmare. A 300-metre-long (1,000-foot) field of spiderweb has sprung up in western Greece in the town of Aitoliko.

 

As you can see in the video below, its covering everything from trees to shrubs near a lagoon on the shores of the town.

The spiders are likely from the genus Tetragnatha, which are commonly known as stretch spiders due to their stretched-looking, elongated bodies.

They live in many areas around the world, including the US and Europe, and they commonly build their webs near watery habitats. Some species can even walk on water.

But before you get out your flamethrowers, you should know that the webbing is a normal occurrence, and it's not dangerous.

"These spiders are not dangerous for humans and will not cause any damage to the area's flora," explains molecular biologist Maria Chatzaki from the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece, to Greek news website Newsit.gr.

"The spiders will have their party and will soon die."

spiderweb greek town body(Agrinionews.gr)

She also points out this isn't the first time this has happened, and it's a relatively common phenomenon which can occur every couple of years.

In fact, we've reported on a similar even with Tetragnatha spiders in Dallas, Texas, where webbing took over a "football-field" length area back in 2015.

 

So, why do they do this? According to Chatzaki, it's a combination of timing and opportunism.

"When an animal finds abundant food, high temperatures and sufficient humidity, it has the ideal conditions to be able to make large populations," she explains.

"This phenomenon has arisen from a population explosion of this spider."

So basically, the conditions are right – and a bunch of spiders are enjoying the weather, jumping at the chance to overeat, mate, and party. Who can really blame them?

In fact, the locals should probably be thanking them, as one of the things they eat is mosquitoes, which Chatzaki notes have also been seen in the area in greater numbers than usual.

"The spiders are taking advantage of these conditions and are having a kind of a party. They mate, they reproduce and provide a whole new generation," she added.

The residents probably don't find this whole situation quite so cheerful, but at least if they have any interest in Halloween decor, they're sorted for now.