Spiders may not be your favorite creature on the planet, but you can’t deny the benefit they serve. Luckily they stay out of sight most of the time, so even those that are terrified of them rarely have to interact with them. Unless you live in Australia that is. . .
The Reign of spiders
The citizens of the Australian town of Goulburn woke up to a scene straight out of a Stephen King novel.
Yes, those are spider webs. Yes, they are inhabited.
Apparently, the spiders migrated from the Southern Tablelands due to recent severe weather, using tiny webs as balloons to parachute into a safer area. It just happened to be home to a number of Australians!
The phenomenon happens when young spiders are ready to disperse to new homes (it’s even occurred in Texas). The young spiders climb high up on trees and plants and create gossamer “ballooning” webs, then jump off in order to catch the wind, allowing them to float for hundreds of kilometers with a height of up to 20,000 feet.
Typically this is done in waves so humans seldom see it happen, but this year the little spiders had to wait for a break in the weather. When it came, there was a mass migration, meaning gangs of spiders raining down on the townsfolk!
The snow-like coating of web is a phenomenon called Angel Hair, and can occur in any temperate area due either to mass migration ballooning events (the thick gossamer has been found on telephone poles and weather balloons) or when spiders cast their webs to use like climbing ropes to escape perilous situations like major floods, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
The Angel Hair phenomenon isn’t rare in Australia (so if you ever wanted to visit, now you have a reason not to), so residents were able to adapt, but for the rest of the world it looks like a nightmare.
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