WATCH: Thousands of Spiders Hang in the Sky over Brazil Town

This is definitely not recommended viewing for arachnophobes.

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This is definitely not recommended viewing for arachnophobes.

Twenty-year old Brazilian web designer Erick Reis got a shock when he left his friend’s house in the town of Santo Antônio da Platina in southern Brazil early in February. Looking up, he saw what seemed like thousands of swarming black dots in the sky, hanging off power lines and cables. Those dots turned out to be spiders, crawling across a mammoth web.

(MORE: Mysterious Poisonous Spiders Invade Indian Town)

Reis filmed the spiders and uploaded the video to Youtube on Feb. 8 so that the rest of the world too could witness the strange phenomena.

The Brazilian news site, G1, which initially reported on the story, identified the creatures as Anelosimus eximius after consulting with a local biologist, reports the Examiner.

Anelosimus is an incredibly social species of spider, colonies of which generally build large webs that can span two or three meters across. They tend to be found in rain forests across South America, but their hammock-like webs have been known to be picked up and blown to a different location by winds – perhaps explaining Reis’s sighting.

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However the appearance and shape of the web indicates that that initial assessment may be wrong, according to Wired. Speaking with Deborah Smith, an entomologist at the University of Kansas who specializes in spiders, Wired explains that the spiders in the video appear to be larger than those attributed to the Anelosimus species.

Both Smith and Arachnologist George Uetz suggest that they could be of the Parawixa bistriata species instead. “This colony is quite large,” says Uetz, “the web is fixed, although it is very fine and mostly invisible.” The giant web could be their means of capturing prey, but worryingly for the locals, it’s still unknown whether these spiders are permanently setting up a home or just using the area as a temporary hunting ground.

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7 comments
moktadir
moktadir

Yep, I might die before I go there...

cyninbend
cyninbend

These are bigger than spiders I once saw a video of that were in the rain forest.  They were quite tiny and were lifted on the breeze and flown to a new home.  Some years ago...  These guys are awfully cute and brave just laughing and filming...I'd have been spraying poison and screaming or have left, never to return, if I had that choice.  I sure hope we don't get them up here--the spiders here get big, and over my head would be just too scary--there were 2 in the garden on climbing roses last summer--but they stayed in their webs, not floating around...I never went through to the back all summer after I saw them!  They stole my garden.  I hope yours leave soon and go back to the rain forest or wherever.  For your sake...  Maybe they have natural predators like toads or frogs or birds?