While our pre-apocalyptic world slowly boils over, it's hard to stop and appreciate all the fresh and exciting existential horrors we're getting. Like the new animal plagues -- nature's way of trying to CTRL-V mankind to death. And in case you were thinking of getting a good night's sleep, viral videos are currently pouring out of Brazil to remind us all that the night is dark and full of spiders.
Residents from the state of Minas Gerais have been posting videos of massive groups of spiders seemingly raining down from the skies. One clip that immediately went viral was filmed by 14-year-old Joao Pedro Martinelli Fonseca, who went to the area to visit his grandparents, only to discover that their farm was being swarmed by thousands of airborne spiders, in what is obviously the first act of a found-footage horror movie.
But don't worry, arachnologists have come out their poorly lit corners to reassure us that there's no such things as spider clouds that rain down on us as some sort of biblical punishment. No no no, these spiders aren't falling. They're resting on giant invisible webs, waiting to ensnare their prey.
The critter in question, parawixia bistriata, is one of the rare breeds of social spiders, which have learned to work together to hunt in horrific hordes. During the day, they cuddle in mass clusters right beneath our feet, and during dusk, the colony comes to blanket the sky with webs up to 13 feet wide and 10 feet thick to feast on whatever lands in their kill zone, be it flies, mosquitoes, or even birds.
While residents of Minas Gerais are still creeped out by the spider walls, they know to expect their itsy-bitsy sky blankets during summers that are excessively hot and humid -- something that's happening more and more for some reason. But Brazilians should be grateful for their appearance, says spider professor Adalberto dos Santos (that is, a professor of spiders, not a spider who is a professor), who told The Guardian that the spider walls are an excellent counter to also-terrifying mosquito swarms that buzz around during the swampy summer days. "They benefit us far more than they harm us," he adds. Sure, try telling that to whatever drunkard stumbles into their webs and gets insta-mummified.
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