Madagascar’s newest discovered spider is not only itself quite large but weaves webs that dwarf even the largest known orb style spider webs. The webs measure up to 25 Meters in diameter, often running all the way across rivers. And the spiders themselves make it possible by weaving strands together that resemble a bizarre sci fi film from the 1950s. And the webs are some of the toughest materials built with by animals.
The strands of a Darwin’s Bark Spider interlace in a collection of webs that span from one tree to another, across rivers and streams, and all covered in a sticky substance that catches insects in them. Sometimes a Darwin’s Bark Spider can feed on up to 30 insects in a single web. The wriggling insects then send vibrations up to the entire length of the web alerting the spider to the insect’s location. Keep in mind even a medium-large spider is still generally only up to three inches in length, so the journey of 25 yards across the web would be a human equivalent to almost a mile. Quite a distance for a bite to eat, but imagine web created in your own body not only stretching that far, but creating an inctricate web dedicated solely to gathering you food.
But the webs do pay off. Not only are they able to capture large insects, but also small birds, which the spiders are not above consuming. So the question that always comes up when a new species is discovered that seems impossible to miss is what about the cryptids? If someone were to suggest a spider exists somewhere on Earth that can weave a web five times larger than the largest known orb web (previously five meters) ever, how easy is it to imagine that becoming nothing more than a matter of folklore?
While Darwin’s Bark Spider weaves the largest webs of any known spider breed, the largest spider known to man is the Goliath spider which is capable of rendering a full grown human incapacitated with the fiberglass-like projectiles it launches from its thorax.
Other interesting spider breeds include the Cerbalis Aravensis which was recently discovered earlier this year in a sand dune in Israel. The spider is a nocturnal hunter with a leg span of 5.5 inches.
And while all spiders produce venom which is technically poisonous, the actual effect it has on humans is usually negligible. In fact, rarely do spiders actually cause much harm with a few exceptions. These exceptions are what i generally focused on in a given area and as a result most people know of all the dangerous spider types in their region.
How many breeds of spider are yet to be discovered? While scientists estimate that most breeds of spider have been discovered in explored areas of the globe, there are still plenty of regions where humans have not yet set foot, although they are dwindling ever more all the time. Most undiscovered spiders are likely in tropical areas or in deserts.