Residents of Memphis, Tennessee woke up to a scene straight from a horror movie. A giant blanket of spiderwebs appeared roughly a half mile long with millions of spiders.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Frances Ward told Action News 5. “It’s like a horror movie. Never seen nothing like this before. They’re in the air, flying everywhere. They all on the house, on the side of the windows.”
The good news is that they’re completely harmless. Multiple experts weighed in on the webs and were in agreement.
“Young juvenile spiders of most families disperse by sending out a swath of silk threads that may be over a meter in length,” Susan Riechart, a professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and former president of the American Arachnological Society, told The Post. “Particular air currents favor ballooning. This would explain the fact that thousands to hundreds of thousands may take off at the same time. Caught by the air currents, the spiderlings have no control over where they will land, but it is not surprising that they may fall in the same area.”
“It’s a mass dispersal of the millions of tiny spiders that have always been in that field, unnoticed till now. It could be juveniles – millions – in a big emergence event, or adults of a tiny species – probably a sheetweb spider – leaving for some reason possibly knowable only to them. In fields and meadows, there are often literally millions of spiders doing their thing, unseen and unappreciated by us. I would not want to live in a world where such things were no longer possible. The presence of these spiders tells us that all is well with nature at that location,” Memphis Zoo curator Steve Reichling told WMC.