Tags: spider | rain | australia | baby | arachnid

Spider Rain in Australia Means Baby Arachnids Are on the Move

By    |   Tuesday, 19 May 2015 07:33 AM

A natural phenomenon in Australia called "spider rain," in which baby spiders and their webs just seem to fall from the sky, is an annual event in the country's southern Tablelands region.

Keith Basterfield told the Golburn Post last week that blankets of baby spider webs fell in some areas of southern Australia like angel hair.

"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," said Basterfield.

"They fly through the sky and then we see these falls of spider webs that look almost as if it's snowing," he said. "We see these vast areas of baby spiders, all coming down at once in the late morning or early afternoon. … It tends to happen a couple of times per year, usually on clear days with slight winds. I was on the Bureau of Meteorology last week and watching the weather for Golburn and the conditions were just right."

The phenomenon has been described by some in Australia as the country's version of "Sharknado," the campy fictional movies where sharks fall out of the sky, except the precipitation is spiders. One photo captured how the spider webs covered an entire field in one portion of Australia.


LiveScience.com said scientists call this "flying spider" phenomenon ballooning, in which spiders cast out a "dragline" of silk thread, which gets carried by the wind. The wind and sunshine provide the needed updrafts that allow the spiders and their webs to go airborne.

Ian Watson of Golburn told the Sydney Morning Herald that regardless of the explanation, he's not exactly a fan of the parachuting spiders.

"The whole place was covered in these little black spiderlings and when I looked up at the sun it was like this tunnel of webs going up for a couple of hundred meters into the sky," he said.

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A natural phenomenon in Australia called "spider rain," in which baby spiders and their webs just seem to fall from the sky, is an annual event in the country's southern Tablelands region.
spider, rain, australia, baby, arachnid
356
2015-33-19
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 07:33 AM
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