Grab an Umbrella, It’s Raining Spiders in Australia

posted: 05/18/15
by: Danny Clemens

Anybody with even a mild fear of spiders should stay far away from Australia: it's raining baby spiders in Australia's Southern Tablelands.

Millions of baby spiders are falling from the sky, the result of a migration technique known as "ballooning". The small spiders climb to the top of a tree and shoot out a silk parachute of sorts, which is then picked up by the wind. The spiders can travel remarkable distances using this method (some make it as far as Antarctica).

Of course, what goes up has to eventually come down: a small town in Australia now finds itself under a thick layer of spider silk:

According to The Weather Network, the phenomena is completely normal, and usually occurs annually in May and August. It's uncommon, however, for so many spiders to balloon at the same time.

"In these kinds of events, what's thought to be going on is that there's a whole cohort of spiders that's ready to do this ballooning dispersal behavior, but for whatever reason, the weather conditions haven't been optimal and allowed them to do that," Professor Todd Blackledge, of the University of Akron in Ohio, told The Weather Network. "But then the weather changes, and they have the proper conditions to balloon, and they all start to do it."

The spiders are completely harmless, and the mass ballooning poses no threat to humans -- aside from the possible psychological scar of being surrounded by thousands of spiders.


About the blog:
DSCOVRD: The best of the web, covering space, technology, wildlife and more!
More on