A Brazilian news site that interviewed a local biologist who was able to identify the spider species as the Anelosimus eximus, a "communal" or "social spider." (Photo : Reuters)
Today, in First World Problems: While we're whining about Nemo and snow, it's raining spiders in Brazil. Seriously. Typical America.
Depending on how you feel about spiders, Santo Antonio de Platina in Brazil is either the serendipitous arachnid paradise you've been searching for all along, or quite possibly the most frightening town on Earth. Based on a video uploaded to YouTube Feb. 7, spiders are apparently dangling like decorative streamers from power lines and virtually every other surface imaginable in the city. And these aren't the mincing, cartoonishly frail spiders kids used to pop like tic tacs in kindergarten. No, these are some Golds Gym Hungry Man Dinner and a protein shake loving mothers.
It's tough to pinpoint an exact size, but as the camera zooms all the way out, spiders are clearly visible in every direction, with a vague idea of their heft suggested by close by transformers and electric poles. Just why so many spiders are congregating in the town remains unclear, though, as Gawker noted, there are various numbers of arachnid species that cooperate in colonies in order to catch prey that would often be impossible to capture otherwise.
According to Gawker, a Brazilian news service, G1, reported that the footage was filmed by a 20-year-old web designer, Erick Reis, as he was coming home from a friend's engagement party Feb. 2.
The Brazilian news portal interviewed a local biologist who was able to identify the spider species as the Anelosimus eximus, a "communal" or "social spider." The species is known for creating massive colonies of several thousand individual spiders, and its special "sheet webs," and the type of behavior exhibited by the arachnids in the video is "normal," the biologist reportedly said. The spiders are native to the Lesser Antilles and tropical regions in South America from Panama to Argentina, according to the Journal of Archaeology.
An arachnid expert at the University of British Colombia in Canada, Leticia Avilés, said in an interview with New Scientist that such cooperating species of spiders are very rare, estimating that out of 39,000 known species of spiders, there are only about 20 that have been shown to cooperate, Huffington Post reported.
"Spiders are not famous for their caring, sharing nature. Unlike insects such as ants, it is virtually unheard of for arachnids to live in societies that employ tactics and team work," noted New Scientist.