'Chem webs' over UK - video

jvnk08

Senior Member.
I've been seeing these videos circulated in a few places:



Part 2:


Looks a whole lot like spider webs to me. I swear here in the US I've seen webs in the grass just like that in the early morning when dew forms, albeit not contiguous and covering such a wide area.

First thought I had was that it seems very similar to what spiders did to trees in Pakistan following record-breaking floods a year ago:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/pictures/110331-pakistan-flood-spider-trees-webs/

In the video description of part 2(supposedly microscopy imaging), it says:

What has happened is that as the water has evaporated the fibres have been drawn together forming a strand that is comparable in size to a spiders web strand , However the spider silk is a single entity not hundreds of microscopic fibres as shown in this video .

This didn't seem right to me, and after a quick google it seems spider silk is not a 'single entity' but (like many things) is actually a collection of smaller fibers:
http://www.optics.rochester.edu/workgroups/cml/opt307/spr07/luke/
This microscopy images look nothing like what he is showing in part 2, but I suspect what he's showing is either not the webs depicted in the video or such a low magnification that we're looking at a clump of spider webs.

In the first video description he says the webs covered an area "5 miles wide and 15 to 20 miles long", and I thought surely this couldn't have gone unnoticed by everyone if such a large area were literally covered in spider webs. Turns out, the day before the video is claimed to have been filmed, the DailyMail ran a piece with pretty darn similar photographs, though no pictures of a field looking similar to what is seen in the video:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...orest-sunrise-Britain-wakes-chilly-start.html
 

jvnk08

Senior Member.
the folks that did these videos showed no curiosity about learning the facts of the matter. Spiders spin their silk from numerous spinnerets which combine to form a strand of silk. The spinnerets are easy to see in the electron microscopy. Here is my work on that from a decade ago:
http://goodsky.homestead.com/files/silk.html

I see no other reason for why they would go concoct such a length explanation to make it seem different than spider webs.

Someone left this comment with the dailymail photos:

I will never forget walking down a field meadow in the early morning and seeing spider webs in the grass as far the eye could see , truely magical something thats unforgetable .....................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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