Stretch spiders are responsible for the enormous web, which they live beneath

By Madison Roberts
September 20, 2018 01:33 PM
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Those aren’t Halloween decorations! A Greek coastal town has been completely covered by a massive spider web.

Video footage from the village of Aitoliko shows a 300-meter-long (1,000 feet) web blanketing the shoreline. Everything from street signs to trees to grass and flowers is coated, while the spiders responsible sit underneath.

While the creepy scene may be unsettling to witness, Maria Chatzaki, a professor of molecular biology and genetics at Democritus University of Thrace, Greece, told Newsit.gr it’s not actually that uncommon.

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The Tetragnatha genus or Stretch spider is responsible for the “seasonal phenomenon,” which typically occurs every three to five years at the end of summer to early autumn, she says.

Chatzaki credits warm temperatures, a large mosquito population and humidity for creating “ideal conditions” for mating and reproducing a “large population” underneath the web.

“[They are creating] a next generation,” she said. “These are not spiders dangerous to humans. This is not a phenomenon that will cause some damage to vegetation or anywhere else.”

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“These spiders are very small in size, but they are capable of making very large tissues and sitting in them,” she explains. “This phenomenon has arisen from a population explosion of this spider.”

GIANNIS GIANNAKOPOULOS/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

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While some may be concerned the spiders could overpopulate the beach, Chatzaki assures that after they weave their slightly spooky web, they likely won’t last much longer in the world.

“Spiders will make their party and die soon,” she said.

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