COLUMBUS, Ohio — It is one of the most well-known bridges in Columbus, Ohio, and right now, it’s quite the sight to see! That is, if you’re not too afraid of spiders!
If you’re afraid of spiders, the Main Street Bridge in downtown Columbus is likely NOT the place for you!
These spiders are harmless — and if you want, you can even pick them up. They’re catching the attention of nearly everyone driving or walking on the bridge.
“We thought they were here, left up, not cleaned up for Halloween,” a visitor to the bridge said.
These are called orb weaver spiders.
“Bug doc” Dave Shetlar is an etmyologist at Ohio State University.
“If there’s two little finger-like things with knobs on the end, that’s a boy spider,” Shetlar said.
Shetlar says the spiders come out at night — looking for their food, which comes from the river.
“I was estimating the other day — I bet you there’s at least 5,000 spiders along this bridge, and maybe up to 10,000,” Shetlar said.
Ohio Division of Wildlife Naturalist Jim McCormac says that’s evidence of good health for the Scioto River under the span.
A $35.5 million project narrowed the river for the creation of a 33-acre park with 800 trees and 75,000 plants. McCormac says that allows for more insects in the area, and the spiders followed their food.
If you can handle it, the Main Street Bridge is the sight to see.
These spiders won’t attack you, and Shetlar says though they can bite you, their fangs aren’t big enough to penetrate your skin.