Amazingly Intricate Spider Web Uses Suspended Rock As An Anchor | IFLScience

October 8, 2014 | by Justine Alford

Photo credit: Reverseloop, Imgur.

We’ve all gazed upon some remarkable, sometimes seemingly impossible spider webs in our lifetimes and thought to ourselves how the heck did they manage that?! These guys are master architects and they’re not afraid to show it. But one of our creepy eight-legged friends has recently taken web-building to another level and demonstrated some serious problem-solving skills.

The scenario: garden spider wants to construct a web along the underside of a garage roof.

The problem: the angle of the roof was too shallow for anchoring.

The solution: spider entwines a small rock in the web and suspends it, successfully holding the bottom of the web.

We definitely agree with the Imgur user Reverseloop that spotted the awesome web and brought it to our attention: It’s pretty f*ck!ng cool.

So is this truly a stroke of genius? As pointed out by io9, there’s a pretty interesting discussion about the overachiever on Reddit where a few experts have shared their thoughts on the phenomenon. One user, entomologist Jay180, offers his explanation:

"This is not as uncommon as you think. Basically, the spider is looking for good anchor points. It pulls on all the lines to check for stability as it’s making the web. As far as it knows that line is attached to the ground. That rock is just heavy enough to keep the line taut but not so light the spider would pull it all the way up."

Another user, former zoo spider keeper Potato_Johnson, thinks that the spider did not do it on purpose:

"I’ve worked with spiders for years and every spider that makes these aerial webs does it the same way; they anchor some web to an object, produce an extra long strand trailing behind them as they climb up and around obstacles, and then put tension on the line once they’re back up to the top. In this case the spider was expecting the rock to be attached to the ground, but since it wasn’t, the act of tensioning the line lifted it off the ground."

We might not be able to confidently explain it, but it’s awesome nonetheless.

[Via io9, Reddit, whyevolutionistrue]

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