Watch a ‘ballooning’ spider take flight

Watch a ‘ballooning’ spider take flight

Spiders don’t just use their silk threads to build webs. They also spin sails to catch the breeze, sometimes flying hundreds of kilometers. This behavior — called ballooning — has helped spiders disperse all over the globe. To find out more about how spiders launch, scientists in Germany collected some large, orb-web-spinning crab spiders in a park outside Berlin. They put the spiders on a mushroom-shaped platform outdoors, and observed how the spiders behaved under different wind conditions. They also put the arachnids in a wind tunnel, where the scientists could carefully control wind speed and temperature. The spiders didn’t release their silk balloons at random. Instead, they tested the wind by raising their front legs in the air for about 6 seconds. When it was cold and windy, the spiders hid. But when the breeze was warm and gentle — less than 3 meters per second — the spiders spun out a triangular sail made of silk threads. Spiraling updrafts lifted the sails, and the spiders were on their way. It’s clear these crab spiders wait for the right conditions before takeoff. The next question is, can they control where they land?

54 thoughts on “Watch a ‘ballooning’ spider take flight

  1. Just finished listening to Children of Time, and their spider based culture. This just added to my nightmare.

  2. That's totally awesome! Most of the time, some spiders land perfectly on my nose and take off again while hiking at Outdoors! It's pretty weird!☺☺🕷🕷🕷 then my girlfriend stars screaming! 😀😁😂😃🕷🕷🕷🕷

  3. "Can they control where they land?"

    How come the researchers only observed the spiders' takeoff but not their descent?

  4. at around 20s, what are orb web spinning crab spiders? Those are ground crab spiders. They don't spin anything resembling an orb web.

  5. 어떤 생물체를 연구한다는건 참으로 어럽고 힘든일이다 연구를 한다는건 때론 외롭고 혼자만이 어럽고 힘든길을 걸어가야만 하기 때문이고 5년이고 10년이고 오랜시간을 요하기 때문에 개인의 사생활은 내버리고 오직연구에만 집념하기 때문이다 연구한 M00n Gsun Cho의 건강을 기원하며 논문에 축하를 드린다

  6. Ohhhh Amazing an fascinating!!!
    But, from now on, "knowing this" I will not leave my house, they can even fly! … Jesus Christ!!!!

  7. I've seen these in flight while under parachute … one flew right passed my face. I had to do a double-take like WTF?! … It was amazing to see these clever spiders 🙂

  8. Seems like the spiders aren't actually flying with wind.

  9. they're feeling more than just the wind, they're also feeling for electric fields (apparently, according to SciShow)

  10. Just been tested by University of Bristol which showed the spiders use electric charge to balloon explaining why they can fly in such low levels of wind. Check it out:

  11. If you search deeper , u will find out that it is not just the wind that makes the spiders fly. It is also the difference in thenelectromagnetic field of the ground and the air . You can find this on sci fi

  12. the one at the end looks like it puts a "thread" on the mushroom thing before takeoff…
    also imagine being able to poop out parachutes…
    upon further thought this might "blow".
    ill c myself out.

  13. This reminds me of the Fulton recovery system in Metal Gear Solid. The spider even shoots up into the air as if he's being yanked up by it. LOL.

  14. I learned about these guys after landing with a few hitch hikers. Strands of silk could be seen everywhere in the air.

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