Does a Photograph Show a Frozen Spider Web?

A photograph purportedly depicting a "frozen spider web" is actually a picture of an ice sculpture.

  • Published 11 January 2016


A photograph shows a frozen spider web.


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In January 2016, an image purportedly showing a frozen spider began making its way around social media:

frozen spider web

This image was cropped in an attempt to make the spider web appear as if it were of average size and was hanging between two branches of a tree. A frozen spider can still be seen at the bottom of the image, however, which provides a hint at the web’s actual (large) size:

frozen spider sculpture

The photograph purportedly showing the “frozen spider web” actually depicts an ice sculpture created in 2011 by a Kenyan journalist and a sculptor, Michael Kaloki, and Timo Koivisto of Finland, for the Art Meets Ice competition at the Helsinki Zoo:

This year, I am attending the Helsinki Zoo International Ice Sculpture Competition, in Finland. One question I am almost always asked at events is, “How did you get into ice carving, yet there is no ice in Kenya.” I would often reply by saying that ice is just like any other medium.

This year I travelled alone to the Helsinki Zoo International Ice Carving Competition. The organizers had arranged for me to join a Finnish ice carver to form a team. We are required to carve two sculptures during the four day event. First, we carved a spider web. Our next piece will depict a bee on a flower. I am the only African taking part in the event. The other competitors are from Europe, Asia and North America.

art meets ice

Kaloki and Koivisto won first prize in the couple’s competition that year with their sculpture of a spider and its web.
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