Spiders are rarely nice to look at and a spider invasion sounds more like a perfect scenario for creepy movies. However, for the residents of certain parts of Australia this has become part of the daily routine.
It has been reported that millions of baby spiders seem to fall from the sky in the country’s Southern Tablelands region. The people living in the area are quite alarmed by this spider rain. It is not easy to get out of the house and find yourself covered in eight-legged insects constantly, especially with arachnophobia affecting more than 5 percent of the global population.
Nevertheless, the phenomenon has a perfectly scientific explanation, even if it provides no comfort for the residents who have to put up with the spider rain. According to experts, this is something that happens around us every day without us being aware of it. According to a biology professor at the University of Akron in Ohio, Todd Blackledge, it is believed that there is an entire colony of spiders that are trying to do a “ballooning dispersal behavior”, which allow them to colonize so many places on Earth, as they can travel for thousands of kilometers. Because the weather conditions haven’t been very good before, they could not perform their ritual, but now that everything has come back to normal, they have started to fill the sky. Keith Basterfield expands on this idea, explaining the phenomenon: “What happens is that during a particular time of the year, particularly in May and August, young spiders in the Outback somewhere throw these threads of spider webs up in the air and use them as a parachute to detach themselves from the ground and move in large colonies through the sky,” he says. They have been reported to be able to travel as high as 990 miles kilometers above the ground. The area might be experiencing a sort of mass migration of young spiders, who create a soft spider web as they are carried away. This is why whole parts of the area are covered in the silk they produce, which is also called “Angel Hair”.
Some of the residents feel extremely unsettled by this explanation, saying that it is very difficult for them to deal with it. Their houses, their gardens and even their clothes and hair are sometimes covered in a thin layer of spider silk teeming with literally millions of small spiders.
There have not yet been reports of these spiders being venomous or dangerous to humans, even if Australia is home to some of the most dangerous critters in the world.
Image Source: Timedotcom