Vegetation along the Soreq creek bank near Jerusalem has been shrouded in giant cobwebs leaving a beguiling sight, rare to the Middle East.
The reality, however, is less mysterious and can be explained by treated sewage in the water, which is full of nutrients that promote the rapid proliferation of mosquitoes. These in turn serve as welcome fodder for the spiders encouraging a reproductive boom.
“It’s an exceptional case,” arachnophile Igor Armicach, a doctoral student at Hebrew University’s Arachnid Collection told Reuters. He said the spellbinding sight was the work of millions of long-jawed spiders but is not expected to last much longer.
As winter approaches, the presence of bountiful spider egg sacs and spiderlings along the banks is expected to the end. The cooler temperatures will kill off the mosquito population, thus cutting off the spiders’ abundant food source, according to Armicach.