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Greek Beach Completely Covered in Giant Spider Webs

2 minute read

A Western Greek beach has nearly been taken over with more than 900 feet of spider webs.

Photos have emerged of a lagoon beach in Aitoliko, Greece, where a veil of spiderwebs has covered hundreds of feet of plants, giving the beach an eerie look. But the spiderwebs are not uncommon, according to Maria Chatzaki, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics of the University of Thrace.

Chatzaki told local news site NewsIt that the spiderwebs are a seasonal phenomenon that occurs at the beginning of fall by the Tetragnatha spider. She added that the small spiders are capable of creating large webs but that they do not pose a threat to humans or plants and that the rise in population is connected to the mosquitoes on the beach.

“Obviously, it results from favorable conditions that have made it possible to create this over-population,” she told the Greek news site. “The increase in the population of mosquitoes is certainly not irrelevant to this phenomenon.”

Greek photographer, Giannis Giannakopoulos, posted photos of the webs on his Facebook page.

“A strange and unprecedented spectacle I saw tonight at Aitoliko,” he captioned the photos. “Nature has its own rules that unfortunately many times we ‘wise’ people outguess them with the result that consequences are painful.”

Chatzaki said that the conditions were perfect for the spiders to reproduce. The abundant food, high temperatures and sufficient humidity made it ideal for the spiders to exploit and create a large population.

“Therefore, we would say that it is an opportunistic phenomenon in this case where exploiting the spiders all these conditions “decide” to give it to understand and grow, to reproduce,” Chatzaki said.

According to Chatzaki, residents and tourists should not worry about the webs for long, the spiders will die soon. She said a similar phenomenon was recorded in 2003 and that all it takes is the perfect fall weather conditions for the spiders to thrive.

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Write to Gina Martinez at gina.martinez@time.com