Millions of spiders invade Tennessee community

By @vitthernandez on
(IN PHOTO) Wild plants are covered in spiderwebs, formed as spiders escape from flood waters, in Wagga Wagga March 7, 2012. The Murrumbidgee river is slowly receding after reaching 10.56 m (34 feet) on March 6. Emergency services lifted the evacuation order for Wagga Wagga's central business district (CBD) but it remains in place for several towns across the region. Reuters

A community in Memphis is suffering from what a person with arachnophobia would fear the most – the invasion of millions of spiders. One resident, Frances Ward, complains that she cannot even sit in her house because the arachnids are on the wall and door, and all they have been doing the past hour is kill spiders.

The spiders too are outside homes. WMC TV reports that there is almost a half-mile long spider web stretching across their neighbourhood. Steve Reichling, curator of the Memphis Zoo, explains that these spiders have always been in the field and unnoticed until now. He says the juvenile spiders are probably in a big emergency event or leaving for some reason.

Ward says, “I’ve never seen anything like this … It’s like a horror movie. They are in the air, flying everywhere. They are on the house, on the side of the windows,” quotes Action News 5. The residents are probably reminded of the 1977 movie “Kingdom of the Spider” where the arachnids attacked an Arizona town.

Whatever are their reasons, the terror the arachnids cause on residents are likely in the DNA of people as a result of survival instincts developed by their ancestors millions of years ago in Africa. The spiders were considered powerful threats to the survival of the first humans that the ability to spot arachnids “became an evolutionary necessity.”

That explains the deep rooted and what seems like irrational fear of spiders, according to a study by researchers at the Columbia University in New York, reports The Telegraph in April. The study involved over 250 people who were shown on computer screens abstract shapes, data and images known to induce fear. The respondents picked out spider shapes quickly.

Memphis resident Ida Morris asked the city government to clean up the area and spray it with insecticide to keep the neighbourhood safe from spider bites.

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