The Horrifying ‘Spider Trees’ Of Pakistan

Ah, the wonders and surprises of Mother Nature. The 2010 floods in Pakistan caused an unexpected evolution in arachnoid behavior — to escape the rising waters, millions of spiders took to living in trees. The UK’s Department for International Development has an eye-popping Flickr gallery of what is now typical across Pakistan. The sticky, web-cocooned trees have proven extremely effective at catching pests and curbed the mosquito population. (The trees in the below picture are festooned with dead bugs.)

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62 Comments on "The Horrifying ‘Spider Trees’ Of Pakistan"

  1. That would put me off climbing trees.

  2. That would put me off climbing trees.

  3. Anonymous | Apr 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm |

    Giant sticky Q-tips. Apparently the spiders are coping well. Great survival strategy!

  4. very interesting how creatures adapt to adversity.

  5. GoodDoktorBad | Apr 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm |

    Giant sticky Q-tips. Apparently the spiders are coping well. Great survival strategy!

  6. very interesting how creatures adapt to adversity.

  7. Fewer mosquitos and less malaria? As usual, the horrifying is apparently beneficial.

  8. Fewer mosquitos and less malaria? As usual, the horrifying is apparently beneficial.

  9. DeepCough | Apr 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm |

    If I were Little Miss Muffet, I’d stay the fuck away from that.

  10. DeepCough | Apr 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm |

    If I were Little Miss Muffet, I’d stay the fuck away from that.

  11. mrtastycakes | Apr 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm |

    BOMB PAKISTAN. DEPOSE THE SPIDERS.

  12. mrtastycakes | Apr 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm |

    BOMB PAKISTAN. DEPOSE THE SPIDERS.

  13. mrtastycakes | Apr 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm |

    BOMB PAKISTAN. DEPOSE THE SPIDERS.

  14. mrtastycakes | Apr 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm |

    BOMB PAKISTAN. DEPOSE THE SPIDERS.

  15. Simiantongue | Apr 6, 2011 at 1:32 am |

    If spiders did this for no apparent reason, if there was a lack of evolutionary pressure to do such, THEN it would be unexpected. Taking to the trees like this in a flood risk area, obviously, spiders who had done this survived longer and bred more than spider who didn’t. Whats so unexpected about that?

  16. Simiantongue | Apr 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm |

    If spiders did this for no apparent reason, if there was a lack of evolutionary pressure to do such, THEN it would be unexpected. Taking to the trees like this in a flood risk area, obviously, spiders who had done this survived longer and bred more than spider who didn’t. Whats so unexpected about that?

    • Video_nomad | Apr 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm |

      What’s unexpected, is that we didn’t expect it. As in, scientists did not predict it beforehand, as they had never seen spiders exhibit this particular behavior before. The evolution isn’t unexpected, it’s the form that it took.

  17. they watched man vs wild too, kewl!!

  18. they watched man vs wild too, kewl!!

  19. glad I don’t taste your cakes

  20. “Horrifying” is a bit of an over-reaction here. If The Invisibles taught me anything, it’s not to be scared of bugs.

  21. “Horrifying” is a bit of an over-reaction here. If The Invisibles taught me anything, it’s not to be scared of bugs.

  22. Video_nomad | Apr 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm |

    What’s unexpected, is that we didn’t expect it. As in, scientists did not predict it beforehand, as they had never seen spiders exhibit this particular behavior before. The evolution isn’t unexpected, it’s the form that it took.

  23. Konpowrabbit | Apr 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm |

    they have snakes there too, wonder where they go???

  24. Konpowrabbit | Apr 6, 2011 at 12:08 pm |

    they have snakes there too, wonder where they go???

  25. Paulwhitehurst247 | Apr 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm |

    interesting…….but have seen it many times before in finland………whole trees covered in web…….not sure why, but it was nothing to do with water there, or snow, because it was in the summer

  26. Paulwhitehurst247 | Apr 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm |

    interesting…….but have seen it many times before in finland………whole trees covered in web…….not sure why, but it was nothing to do with water there, or snow, because it was in the summer

  27. On a plane. 😉

  28. Higgins5000 | Apr 8, 2011 at 8:49 am |

    maybe it is not a one time thing. maybe they know that the waters are rising permanently .

  29. Higgins5000 | Apr 8, 2011 at 4:49 am |

    maybe it is not a one time thing. maybe they know that the waters are rising permanently .

  30. justagirl | Apr 11, 2011 at 12:57 am |

    i’d like to walk down that penninsula with a flame thrower. sorry.

  31. justagirl | Apr 10, 2011 at 8:57 pm |

    i’d like to walk down that penninsula with a flame thrower. sorry.

  32. justagirl | Apr 11, 2011 at 12:59 am |

    are you not afraid of bugs then?

  33. justagirl | Apr 11, 2011 at 1:00 am |

    spiders don’t have ears. duh.

  34. i guess this is what u call survival of the fittest?

  35. i guess this is what u call survival of the fittest?

  36. Sorry, but this isn’t “evolution in arachnoid behavior”. It isn’t even “evolution”, period.

    The spiders haven’t changed morphologically nor even behaviorally. They’re just living the way they always have, seeking shelter above the water line –which, in this unique case, just happened to be up in the trees because there was no other place left to go.

  37. Sorry, but this isn’t “evolution in arachnoid behavior”. It isn’t even “evolution”, period.

    The spiders haven’t changed morphologically nor even behaviorally. They’re just living the way they always have, seeking shelter above the water line –which, in this unique case, just happened to be up in the trees because there was no other place left to go.

    • Cool story bro

    • Navysealteam7 | May 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm |

       They’ve developed more practical ways to adapt to their environment which is one definition of evolution even though it might not be exactly darwin’s original idea. They have in effect though, become more effective spiders, period.

  38. the itsy bitsy spider ftw:)

  39. the itsy bitsy spider ftw:)

  40. ahhhh…man that was funny, so didnt expect it..good one

  41. Cool story bro

  42. god i hate spiders so i hate this too

  43. god i hate spiders so i hate this too

  44. Navysealteam7 | May 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm |

     They’ve developed more practical ways to adapt to their environment which is one definition of evolution even though it might not be exactly darwin’s original idea. They have in effect though, become more effective spiders, period.

  45. Navysealteam7 | May 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm |

    Wow, you really are, ‘just-a-girl’, lol

  46. justagirl | May 19, 2011 at 7:33 pm |

    wow, genius – you have just been promoted to “chef”.

  47. Tariq Ali | Jun 15, 2011 at 5:31 am |

    i think that whenever spiders attack on any tree the tree eventually dies.Thats what mostly happens so might be after 2-3 years these trees will no longer exist!

  48. Tariq Ali | Jun 15, 2011 at 1:31 am |

    i think that whenever spiders attack on any tree the tree eventually dies.Thats what mostly happens so might be after 2-3 years these trees will no longer exist!

    • They’re not ‘attacking the trees’…. that’s like saying that squirrels, who live in trees, are killing trees everywhere….

  49. They’re not ‘attacking the trees’…. that’s like saying that squirrels, who live in trees, are killing trees everywhere….

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