Science News
Published: Nov 5, 2014
107 million spiders infest wastewater plant in Maryland [PHOTOS\VIDEO]
by Toshiba Reynolds

107 million spiders infest wastewater plant in Maryland [PHOTOS\VIDEO], A wastewater treatment plant in Maryland had a massive spider infestation that was so bad the managers once asked a group of entomologists for assistance.

Below is a photo of a section of a four-acre web that was found in 2009 at the Baltimore Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Maryland.
 An estimated 107 million spiders of different species assembled this "megaweb" inside one of the plant's buildings that covered nearly 90% of the interior. That equates to 35,176 spiders per cubic meter!

In fact, the entomologists who documented the extraordinary find say the 107 million is a "markedly conservative" estimate. And, they found it so fascinating that they published a paper about the web that is second only to the internet:

"We were unprepared for the sheer scale of the spider population and the extraordinary masses of both three dimensional and sheet-like webbing that blanketed much of the facility’s cavernous interior. Far greater in magnitude than any previously recorded aggregation of orb-weavers, the visual impact of the spectacle was nothing less than astonishing.

In places where the plant workers had swept aside the webbing to access equipment, the silk lay piled on the floor in rope-like clumps as thick as a fire hose."

The web would eventually be removed, but the following photos, courtesy of the Entomological Society of America, will etch it into your memory forever. More photos here.


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