It’s easy to get scared after accidentally walking through a spider web. What happened to the spider, and is it lurking on your clothes are questions that run through everyone’s mind. It’s definitely unsettling, but not nearly as creepy as the “megaweb” recently discovered at a waste water treatment plant in Maryland.
Wired posted the photos of a web so massive that it covered a staggering four acres of the Baltimore Wastewater Treatment Plant facility, back in 2009. It took an estimated 107 million spiders to create the thick, filmy curtains of spider silk that covered the building.
The legions of spiders living in the structure were fortunately not a venomous variety—it was a community of orb-weaving spiders that were undoubtedly attracted to the area due to a large fly population—after all, sewage attracts flies.
Researchers published a study in the American Entomologist, detailing the shocking takeover of the structure by the spiders. They estimated that in some areas of the building up to 95% of the space was filled with web, and was dense enough to pull lights and other fixtures out of alignment.
The report said:
“We were unprepared for the sheer scale of the spider population and the extraordinary masses of both three dimensional and sheet-like webbing that blanketed much of the facility’s cavernous interior. Far greater in magnitude than any previously recorded aggregation of orb-weavers, the visual impact of the spectacle was nothing less than astonishing.
In places where the plant workers had swept aside the webbing to access equipment, the silk lay piled on the floor in rope-like clumps as thick as a fire hose.”
Check out the photos from the published study in the slideshow above.