Spiders' silk might be useful to humans, but otherwise, they're pretty terrifying creatures. Anyone who's seen Arachnophobia can attest to this. And before I have spider apologists sending me nasty comments, think about this: if you heard of an island experiencing an explosion in its spider population, would you want to go?
That island would be Guam, where there are about 40 times more spiders in its jungles than surrounding islands.
An invasive brown treesnake from abroad came along and decided to sink its chompers into more than a few of the island's birds. That left far fewer birds — at least 10 to 12 species less — eating the spiders, and like magic the spider population continued to expand.
"You can't walk through the jungles on Guam without a stick in your hand to knock down the spiderwebs," Rice researcher Haldre Rogers said in her paper, published online at PLOS ONE.
Well then, sign me up!
This doesn't really have a huge effect on anything, save for the fact that there are a lot more spiders on Guam than there used to be. Which is a terrifying thought.