Nature's Web Designer

Ever have that experience of walking through the woods, a field, or maybe an unused building and getting a spider web in your face? Turns you into a karate master, some say. Well, yeah, I don't reckon many people like to be startled with that sticky stuff, especially if they've seen too many scary movies or been reading up on dangerous spiders. Now, your toughest cowboy has to watch where he's working in the stable, woodpile, and such, and check very carefully at the outhouse.

If people can get over their creep factor, they can learn that the orb spider web is amazingly well designed.
Image credit: Freeimages / Aleš Čerin
That web site you just ruined is strong in its proportions, and has different kinds of webbing. Some parts will give a bit before breaking so the whole shootin' match doesn't come down easily. If you study on it, spider webs are masterpieces of design, the ability for which was given to spiders by the Designer, and not by time and chance evolution. Take a good look at a web glistening in the sunlight sometime, and don't bring it down.
Spiders, like venomous snakes, don’t rank high on most people’s lists of animal favorites. They look creepy, have fangs, and some can stick you with life-threatening consequences. To top it off, they spin icky webs in our lovely homes and drape them across hiking trails at eye level. Eew!

But before you stomp on another spider in repugnance, consider their unique abilities. Like every other creature on earth, spiders showcase the ingenious creativity of their Maker. If you really knew what they can do, your attitude may change from abhorrence to amazement.

Take one common example, the orb weaver spiders (family Araneidae). It’s not the largest spider family (jumping spiders and sheet weavers have more species), but it’s one of the most identifiable. They weave those familiar circular webs that we run across (or into) in forests and gardens.

The true marvel is in the details. You may never desire to cohabit with these creatures, but by the end of this article, you might find yourself filled with admiration for their abilities (provided they keep their distance).
To read the rest, click on "The Ultimate Web Designer". Also, you may want to read "Amazing Spider Web Strength".