A field in New Zealand has been covered in a 30-metre weave spider web. The Bay of Plenty was blanketed over the weekend by the natural phenomena fondly known as “spider bum parachutes.”
The web appeared after heavy bouts of rain flooded the area last week. Parents discovered the strange ribbons of web when dropping their kids off for sport over the weekend.
We thought surely there are no spiders inside that,” said Tracey Maris “We walked further up, and our feet started getting stuck in the cobwebs, and then we noticed little black things on top.
Spider expert Dr Cor Vink said the spider’s mass exodus to a higher ground was due to the heavy downpour in New Zealand over the past week.
"What a lot of people don't realise is pasture is full of spiders munching away on things, and what they tend to do is move around by releasing a dragline of silk to help them in case they fall," he said.
"The other way to get around, especially with smaller spiders, is 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.
The rally of high-flying spiders, known as a mass ballooning event, occurs when spiders crawl to the highest points of their habitat—say a fence pole, or a tall plant—and send out silk strands that allow them to be lifted on air currents.
They land and occupy the surrounding area.
This astounding and disgusting event is a huge evolutionary breakthrough and just one example of why spiders have been a successful group.
Arachnophobes, look out for ‘spider bum parachutes’ and giant silken fields.