In general, no one likes spiders. Even if you do accept them as helpful little beasts in the garden that eat pesky insects, you don’t want a spider in your house and you probably don’t want one on you. Sure, most are harmless, but then you get the creepy ones like Black Widows and the Brown Recluse that will bite you and ruin your day. And then there’s what happens when 107 million spiders get together to weave a 40 acre web inside a building basically creating the most awful place on earth.
40 acres, for some perspective, is about 30 football fields worth of space. That’s a vast swath of space to be completely covered in spider webs. In some points the spiders were apparently as dense as 35,000 per cubed yard. As in a space 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet, with 35,000 spiders inside of it. That’s the worst goddamn jack-in-the-box ever conceived.
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What dark side of Hell birthed such a thing as this? The Baltimore Wastewater Treatment Plant. Turns out if you treat poop water, you attract flies. Flies in turn attract spiders and those spiders tell their friends how there’s just a bajillion flies to eat at the poop factory and everyone should move in. Next thing you know you have a spider population that rivals the human population of the Phillipines and is three times the population of Canada. That’s too many spiders.
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According to reports of the building, in places where treatment plant workers had to remove webbing to access machinery, it laid as thick as fire hose on the ground in some places. Elsewhere it just hung from the ceilings like bed sheets. The webs were so thick in places they had yanked 8 foot long fluorescent light fixtures out of place. A web strong enough to do that could literally capture a human who had tumbled into it alone and unprepared. Makes you wonder if 35,000 spiders would eat a man if they were actually able to catch him.
This massive and insane web was actually discovered four years ago but entomologists recently published a paper on it as it takes four years to scientifically find a way to say “holy shit.” And if you’re feeling lucky that this was only a thing in Baltimore, you should know that these massive webs aren’t entirely unheard of. There was a big one in Texas back in 2007 and in 2012 they swarmed over an Australian town after some flooding.
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Odds are you’re never going to have to endure a massive terror web in your lifetime, but it’s at least worth knowing that you could. You could stumble across a web so massive that it houses more spiders than the country in which you live and the webs could be literally so thick that, if you’re alone or unprepared, you would actually get trapped in it and, in all likelihood, eaten. By spiders. In real life.
Anyway, have a great day!