Well, sometimes Mother Nature can go one better than the old movie monsters. That's where this guy comes in.
Darwin’s Bark Spider
Photo credit: Ingi Agnarsson, Matjaž Kuntner, Todd A. Blackledge
This next spider hails from the island of Madagascar, one of the richest hot spots of plant and animal diversity in the world. The Darwin’s bark spider (Caerostris darwini), officially discovered in 2009 but known about since early 2000, is no exception to this rule. It is to date the only spider in the world that builds its web systems over bodies of water like rivers and small lakes.
While that alone makes it unique, this spider also makes the biggest orb web of any single spider known to science. Some Darwin’s bark spiderwebs stretch to cover an area of 3 square meters (30 ft2). The web’s strength has been described as about 10 times stronger than kevlar body armor. This would make this particular spiderweb the toughest biological substance to date. This incredibly impressive specimen earned the right to be named in honor of Charles Darwin on the 200th anniversary of On The Origin of Species.
I don't think I'm ready to know that a spider big enough to hang a web across a creek or small lake may be out there waiting for me. Maybe I'll stick to the old fashioned movie monsters, ya know?
Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?