Scientists in the Field
Spiral Notebook
Weather Update: Cloudy with a Chance of Spiders
by Lily Kessinger
May 21, 2015
 
Weather Update: Cloudy with a Chance of Spiders
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As Sy Montgomery writes in The Tarantula Scientist, “Spiders offer a close-up look at some of nature’s most dramatic moments. Without leaving your own backyard—and probably without even leaving your house—you can see an amazing amount of spider action.”

And nothing could be more true for a small town in New South Wales, Australia. Just this week, millions of tiny spiders inexplicably fell from the sky, blanketing the town in their gossamer webs—a phenomenon referred to as “angel hair” that looks an awful lot like snow! But according to the book Stronger than Steel by Bridget Heos with photographs by Andy Comins, spider silk can be hard to come by and time-consuming to find in the wild. And here it is practically falling from the sky!

Intrigued? Or frightened? You can learn more about this natural phenomenon as well as check out pictures of this striking event here. And if millions of spiders aren’t enough, be sure to check out Stronger than Steel: Spider Silk DNA and the Quest for Better Bulletproof Vests, Sutures, and Parachute Rope that takes a look at the incredible breakthroughs scientists are making by studying spider silk and the impacts it could have on our future of safety and medicine.

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