Animals | Viral

When She Realized What A Mysterious 'Blanket' Really Was, She Started Screaming

If you've ever seen a field while a breeze is blowing, then you know it looks like the rippling waves of the sea. On first glance, this field is no different, but look closer.

A woman was out for a walk on April 16th when she saw something unusual in the grass at a New Zealand park.

"There was a bright glistening coming from the top of the mound. It looked almost like the hill was sparkling," Tracey Maris said.

She got out her camera and took a video of the rolling silken waves on the surface of the field, which turned out to be a giant spider web.

Baby Spiders in Tennessee Spun a Massive WebNational Geographic

While unusual for spiders to create a web of this size, experts speculate that recent flooding resulting from Cyclone Cook caused the spiders to seek higher ground. This means many spiders collaborated to produce the massive silken web.

Spider Web Forest in Wagga Wagga, AustraliaDaniel Munoz / Reuters

"It is impossible to tell which spider made the webs in the video," Thomas Scheibel told Live Science. "However, it is likely that all webs in the video are made by the same species — although probably several thousands of individuals."

If that wasn't scary enough, consider that New Zealand's largest sheet spider species, Cambridgea foliata, can have a "palm-sized" leg span. Although the spiders who wove the web Maris saw were likely only a few centimeters wide, imagine discovering a spider as big as your hand!

iNaturalist

The New Zealand web measured 98ft by 10ft and looked abandoned, but when Maris and her family looked closer, they saw something moving. Maris said she spotted thousands of "little black things on top." What did she do? "We screamed really loudly," she said.

Spider Web in Krugersdorp

Although seeing that many spiders freaked her out a little, Maris says it was a spectacular sight and realizes it's very rare.

"For me, it was being at the right place at the right time...to see a phenomenon which is rarely seen," Maris said.

Watch the full video below:

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