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Spider Webs Encase Trees After Pakistani Floods

Posted 4/02/2011 12:06 pm by

It’s human nature that the latest event is the one that captures our attention. We are quick to move on to the next big thing, even in the matter of natural disasters.

The earthquakes and resulting destruction in  New Zealand and more recently Japan have overshadowed the flooding that devastated Pakistan in 2010.

The area affected received the equivalent of a decade’s worth of rain in one week, causing rivers to rise and flooding that was very slow to recede. The stagnant water remained for extended periods forcing evacuations. Nearly 2,000 citizens died as a result and 20 million people were affected.

Obviously the toll on the region also involved the creatures of the land, including spiders. These aren’t the newest giant arachnid of Israel nor the David Bowie spiders nor the spiders that forced Mazda to recall 52,000 cars. They’re just the local variety of eight-legged creepy crawlies all combined together in a few arboreal locations.

Forced to find refuge, the spiders gathered in trees with mixed results. The arachnids’ combined web efforts did cut down on mosquitoes and the elevated potential for malaria, but the dense webs also lessened the amount of sunlight reaching the leaves on the trees. As a long-term result, many of the trees were killed. With the scorching sun that bears down on Pakistan regularly, the loss of shade may be another less obvious natural disaster for humans in the area.

National Geographic has more pictures of the spiders’ elaborate webs.

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