Thousands of mating spiders blanket a lagoon with a thick layer of webs. The lagoon in Aitoliko, Western Greece, is now shrouded in webs, burying vegetation in a mass of spider silk, filled with mating spiders and
their young. Photos by
Giaannis Giannokopoulos.

The last surviving sea silk seamstress

“My grandmother wove in me a tapestry
that was impossible to unwind,” Vigo said. “Since then, I’ve dedicated
my life to the sea, just as those who have come before me.”

Like the 23 women before her, Vigo has never made a penny from her
work. She is bound by a sacred ‘Sea Oath’ that maintains that byssus
should never be bought or sold.

Instead, Vigo explained that the only way to receive byssus is as a gift. […]

“Byssus doesn’t belong to me, but to everyone,” Vigo asserted.
“Selling it would be like trying to profit from the sun or the tides.”

More recently, a Japanese businessman approached Vigo with an offer
to purchase her most famous piece, ‘The Lion of Women’, for €2.5
million. It took Vigo four years to stitch the glimmering 45x45cm design
with her fingernails, and she dedicated it to women everywhere.

“I told him, ‘Absolutely not’,” she declared. “The women of the world are not for sale.”

The last surviving sea silk seamstress

This Never Before Seen Spider Looks Like a Leaf

image

For Matjaz Kuntner, it was just another evening trek through southwestern China’s Yunnan rain forest—until his headlamp illuminated a strand of spider silk.

That’s not so surprising on its own. But what attracted the
arachnologist’s attention is the silk appeared to attach a leaf to a
tree branch. After looking closer, Kuntner realized one of these leaves
was actually a spider.

“If there’s a web, there’s a spider,” says Kuntner, of the
Smithsonian Institution and the Evolutionary Zoology Laboratory in
Slovenia.


The arachnid uses its silk to attach leaves to tree branches, and then hides among the branches, according to a new study in the Journal of Arachnology.
The researchers still aren’t sure why the spider does this, but they
believe it’s likely to hide from predators or sneak up on prey…

image

This Never Before Seen Spider Looks Like a Leaf