For anyone with a fear of spiders, seeing one of our eight-legged friends dangling from a dark corner of the house or scuttling across a dusty floor is enough to send them into a blind panic, but just imagine the mass hysteria triggered by a whole bunch of spiders suddenly falling from the heavens above.
That’s exactly what appeared to happen in Brazil recently when hundreds of fanged and furry arachnids descended as one great big web-weaving beast in the skies over the South American country.
The Mirror reports that a young boy captured on camera the incredible, or depending on your point of view, the terrifying moment it began “raining” spiders.
The spider apocalypse rendered the young lad “stunned and sacred” as he bravely pointed his video camera in the direction of the insect invaders floating in the skies above the rural southern Minas Gerais state.
Yet just like it never rains cats or dogs, it transpires that it wasn’t actually raining spiders. It just appeared that way to the naked eye.
The astonishing phenomenon was actually caused by the spell of hot and humid weather that Brazil has been enjoying of late.
The spiders are not hurtling from the heavens like sky-diving scuttle bugs but are actually hanging suspended on an enormous and breathtaking web which they have spun to catch some unwitting prey.
A biologist explained, “It is a tactic to increase the area for catching food, usually insects. Silk threads act as parachutes, so the rain of spiders is also called ‘ballooning.'”
The grandmother of the boy who captured the sensational spider footage on video told a local newspaper that it was the tip of an iceberg and there were far more spiders and webs than were visible on the video.
She also added, “We’ve seen this before always at dusk on days when it’s been really hot.”
As for the spiders – oh, what a wicked web they weave.
Yet our eight-legged friends often get a bad rap in the press for being menacing, but really they’re just minding their own business and trying to put food on the table.
Take the case of a spider hater in Perth, Western Australia recently.
The Guardian reports that police were called to a house where neighbors heard a toddler wailing and a man repeatedly screaming, “Why don’t you die?”
Turns out the man in question had a severe case of arachnophobia and was trying in vain to kill a spider.
Now, who exactly is the hero and villain of this particular piece?