It’s a little like living in a horror movie right now in Goulburn, Australia, because it’s been raining baby spiders and their webs are literally everywhere. Seriously, that is not snow in the photo above.
It’s getting ghoulish in Goulburn as one local man, Ian Watson, says there are webs and spiders in the fields, on their homes, in their hair, and even in their beards. Not a pleasant experience, indeed.
It was bad enough when the Inquisitr recently reported the arachnophobic nightmare of one man attempting to kill a wolf spider, all the while filming to prove to his wife that the monster spider was dead. In that incident, as he bashed it with the broom, hundreds of baby spiders erupted from the mother’s dead body, spreading rapidly all over the floor.
The thought of thousands, or according to some locals, millions of spiderlings literally falling from the skies and coating everything with their webs just makes matters far, far worse.
— ScienceAlert (@ScienceAlert) May 15, 2015
Naturally, conspiracy theories immediately came to mind when the latest phenomenon of raining baby spiders began, with many thinking in terms of alien invasions and the like, but apparently the whole thing is quite a natural phenomenon in Australia.
Apparently these clever little arachnids have a special migration technique, whereby they climb to the tops of trees and plants and jump off, using their webs as parachutes to move around the area. This then gives the impression that it is raining baby spiders when, in fact, the little critters are merely skydiving. When viewing the image below, it makes a person shudder.
According to the Mirror Online, the technique is known as “ballooning” or “kiting,” and scientists say that this is why spiders can be found all over the world. Whether a web parachute can take you that far sounds a little impossible, but if you are a tiny little spider, weighing almost nothing, maybe it’s true.
When talking about ballooning spiders, Wikipedia reckons that while most spider migration trips only cover a few meters, depending on the mass and posture of the spider, it could get taken up into a jet stream, traveling far further afield. In fact, back in 1988, sailors apparently reported spiders getting caught up in their ship’s sails, over 1,600 kilometers (990 mi) from land.
The problem, in this case, was the sheer huge numbers involved when it started raining baby spiders in Goulburn. In fact, residents in the southern Australian town say the sun was almost completely blocked out by the phenomenon of so many spiders raining down from the sky.
Watson said that everything was covered in “these little black spiderlings,” and when he looked at the sun, it appeared to be through a tunnel of webs, which he said seemed to go up a couple of hundred meters into the sky. He said it was beautiful, but annoying too as they were invaded by so many spiders.
“I’m ten minutes out of town and you can clearly see hundreds of little spiders floating along with their webs and my home is covered in them.
“You couldn’t go out without getting spider webs on you. And I’ve got a beard as well, so they kept getting in my beard.”
Farm Weekly reported that Watson thought it was maybe only happening where he was and that he took to the town’s Facebook page to find out if anyone else was having the same problem.
“Anyone else experiencing … millions of spiders falling from the sky right now?
“I’m 10 minutes out of town and you can clearly see hundreds of little spiders floating along with their webs and my home is covered in them. Someone call a scientist!”
The response from one horrified local was that the region had been “invaded by spiders” and another commented that his home was “covered” in the little eight-legged creatures.
“Millions of baby spiders appeared to be raining from the sky” Um *runs to underground bunker and never comes out* http://t.co/0v1EWH6dfp
— Colin Daileda (@ColinDaileda) May 15, 2015
The phenomenon of “ballooning” or migration of spiders was then explained by Martyn Robinson, a naturalist from the Australian Museum. Anyone scared to death of spiders, of course, would not be calmed much by the explanation, however, as it continued raining baby spiders.
The video below shows one of these ballooning spiders “tiptoeing” along, presumably prior to making a jump. Their scientific name is Xysticus audax.
How would you react in a situation like this? Let us know below.
[Image: Screengrab from YouTube video]