Woman Finds A Spiderweb So Big And Perfect It Looks Fake
"Father for scale."
Mel Allen’s dad was hanging clothes to dry in his backyard when a silky string caught his eye.
Living in Sydney, Australia, Allen and her dad are used to the super-sized wildlife, but when Allen came outside to see what was going on, she was shocked.
Hanging between two trees was a spider web so large that it looked fake. The thick silky threads and wheel-like structure resembled something out of a Halloween store.
“I was pretty impressed with the size of it, but also how near-perfect it was,” Allen told The Dodo. “But I was also slightly terrified thinking about how big the spider that made the web must be.”
Allen asked her father to stand next to the web "for scale," and snapped a photo showing that the web was as tall as he is.
Allen wanted to know who was responsible for creating the work of art in her dad’s yard, so she looked around the web and found the spider responsible. “I found the spider in question asleep on a curled-up leaf in one of the trees the web was hanging from,” Allen said.
The female golden orb-weaver, also known as giant wood spider or banana spider, was hiding from the morning sun. While the male spiders tend to be small, female golden orb-weavers can have bodies as large as 1.5 inches, and legs that extend 4 or 5 inches.
She had spun her large, sticky web overnight, making the perfect place to catch unsuspecting insects.
The structure of the large webs also protects the spiders from predators: “The golden orb-weaving spiders build large, semi-permanent orb webs,” the Australian Museum writes. “The strong silk has a golden sheen. These spiders remain in their webs day and night and gain some protection from bird attack[s] by the presence of a 'barrier network' of threads on one or both sides of the orb web.”
Luckily, golden orb-weavers are not a risk to humans and are reluctant to bite. When threatened by a predator, the spider will vibrate her web to distract them.
The spider didn’t seem to notice the humans hanging out around her home, and Allen’s dad is happy to let her live there rent-free for as long as she wants.