The road wide web

In a scene right out of a movie, a 1km-long spider web covered the road beside Lake Vistonida, near Xanthi, in northern Greece, yesterday.

In addition to the road, the dense web enveloped vegetation, railings and even some small buildings, reaching around 10m in depth at some points.

Warmer weather conditions in Greece and an increase in the mosquito population are thought to have contributed to the rise in the number of spiders, thriving on the abundance of food.

The spiders are from the genus Tetragnatha, known as stretch spiders due to their elongated bodies. They are known to build webs near watery habitats, with some species even said to be able to walk on water. They do not present any danger to humans.

A similar phenomenon occurred last month in the Greek town of Aitoliko, though that web was much smaller at around 300m-long, and it was also observed in the region in 2003.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2018, with the headline 'The road wide web'. Print Edition | Subscribe