Science News

Spider Rain Reported In Australia

Spider Rain Australia

It’s like a basic cable B-movie: spiders falling from the sky, only it’s real. In the South Australian town of Golburn, spiders rained from the sky. Armed with chainsaws and bats, local residents fought back against the spider infestation.

If it were a movie, all of this might make sense, however, “spider rain”  or “angel hair”  is not an unusual occurrence. According to the Washington Post, there have been several other instances of spider rain reported in Wagga Wagga (which is near Golburn) and as far away as Texas and Brazil.

Just what causes spiders to rain down from the skies? Is it their hunger for human flesh? Unlikely. It’s actually believed to be a migration technique. Much like birds and some humans, spiders have an inclination to migrate through a technique described by a study published in the Journal of Arachnology as “ballooning.”

Retired entomologist Rick Vetter was quoted by ABC News as having explained that after a mother spider lays her eggs and they hatch, the “ballooning” then takes place resulting in “1,000 brothers and sisters” suddenly accompanying you.

(The babies) want space to themselves, you got 1,000 brothers and sisters sitting right around you, you’re not going to go close and make a web — there’s too much competition.

Rather than compete for space against the young spider’s kin, the spider releases silk into the wind, which creates a natural parachute that allows the spider to float with the wind to a new destination. This is, apparently, a normal occurrence which we might otherwise fail to notice.

But spiders raining from the sky? It’s most likely attributed to a coincidence which occurs when the weather patterns are right or when multiple mother spiders lay their eggs at the same time. Either way, you might think twice before opening the window at night when you see the ballooning video below. Those aren’t meteors or drones, they’re ballooning spiders!

Have a spider rain story to tell? Let us know in the comments section below.

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