Aitoliko, in western Greece, is sometimes called “Little Venice” for its series of canals. But that’s no longer what the town is famous for.
Last week, video emerged showing a 1,000 foot field in the town covered in thousands of spider webs. A layer of trees and other coastal greenery is trapped underneath a finely-woven blanket of spider webs.
But the scene is more spooky than scary. It’s a fairly regular phenomenon that can happen once every few years, based on meteorological events.
Maria Chatzaki, professor of molecular biology and genetics at Democritus University of Thrace, told Newsit.gr that the spiders are just taking advantage of high temperatures and humidity during their mating season.
“These spiders are not dangerous for humans and will not cause any damage to the area's flora,” Chatzaki said. “The spiders will have their party and will soon die.”
The spiders building the webs are likely of the Tetragnatha genus, sometimes called “stretch spiders” for their oblong bodies. Not only do they build elaborate webs, they’re capable of running across water.
The spiders are also likely doing humans an immense favor. They prey on mosquitoes that congregate around the water. And are helping the town get a head start on Halloween decorations.