Tiny Spider Spins World’s Largest Web

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This little blue and green rock that we call home is an amazing place. I was reminded of that fact earlier today while reading this story about a tiny spider that has created the largest web in the world.

The Darwin spider, which was only just discovered last year, measures just 2 cm in length, and yet produces the strongest web of any arachnid on the planet. Not only that, the little eight-legged insect can be quite industrious too. The one mentioned in the story for example, has spun more than 25 meters (82 feet) of silk, creating a massive net to ensnare its prey.

Apparently, the Darwin spider builds such massive webs by building in a traditional manner at first, but eventually, when it wants to expand over large distances, it simply fires out long strands of webbing and hopes for the best. Eventually, the sticky-silk will connect with something, and then the little guy starts the engineering process anew. In the case of the spider in this particular story, she fired her webs across a river, and ended up with a large trap to lure in insects as they fly up and out of the water.

All told, the average Darwin spider apparently builds a web that is 2.7 square meters in size, which is about 8.8 square feet. Can you imagine accidentally running into that while walking through the woods at night? *shivers*

Kraig Becker

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