It’s like a horror movie come to life–especially if you have arachnophobia. But it started out more like a romantic movie. This is why thousands of bizarre spiders raining from above is your biggest nightmare come true.
1. Engagement party
When leaving an engagement party, there might be a couple of things you’d expect to see in the air: A balloon or two; A champagne cork returning to the earth after celebratory drinks. Looking into the sky only to see thousands of spiders dangling from the power lines is not near the top of the list.
2. Spider cloud
That’s why Erick Reis, a 20-year-old web designer from Brazil, grabbed his camera and started filming when he left his friend’s party and saw exactly that. A veritable cloud of spider and web filled with thousands of very large spiders.
3. Viral video
The footage, posted to YouTube, has garnered nearly 2 million views in recent days, and terrified almost as many in the same time. But how did those spiders get there? And why? So far, there has been some disagreement on these points.
4. Colony spiders?
According to an arachnologist contacted by the Examiner, the spiders are Anelosimus eximius, a strange spider in the animal kingdom. Rather than living a solitary life, it lives communally in a colony, with thousands of spiders sharing duties, sharing a giant connected web and sharing their kills.
5. Falsely classified
That makes sense, because you can see an awful lot of spiders in one space, sharing what looks like a single web, something you would not normally see on such a massive scale. But according to arachnologists contacted by Wired, there’s just no way those spiders are Anelosimus eximius.
6. Large spiders that live in groups…our favorite thing to come across
7. Fits the bill
Anelosimus eximius are very small, roughly the size of a pencil eraser, according to most, though reports of much larger specimens are recorded. But Parawixia bistriata is much larger, as large as those seen in the video.
8. Social spiders
Parawixia bistriata is relatively social as well, which would explain why so many of them are seen in the same place. They don’t share everything the way Anelosimus eximius does, but they make their webs very close together more like a confederation or a colony than a commune. They disperse when they are in a reproductive cycle and come back together when they are ready to build webs and catch food.
9. Don’t worry about these spiders!
Parawixia bistriata isn’t really a threat to humans, despite its relatively large size and tendency to build huge networks of webs. Its venom is designed to paralyze insects and does not harm people. In fact, its venom has been studied as a possible neuroprotective, as many of the compounds and proteins found in it are capable of encouraging glutamate uptake.
10. Apocalyptic spiders
Despite the fact that these spiders do not pose a threat to us, we know exactly what causes them to fall from the skies . A little something called the end of the world.