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Brace Yourself: It's Raining Spiders in Australia

A Plague of Arachnids


Australia is a beautiful land. There are cuddly koala bears and gorgeous beaches populated with gorgeous surfers. And yet Australia is also home to a long list of creatures that can kill you. From salt water crocs to Great Whites to spiders... and now a plague of spiders has descended on the town of Goulburn, making the movie Arachnophobia look like child's play.

The freak incident saw the entire town covered in silky spider webs, as spiders "rained" down from above.

“Anyone else experiencing … millions of spiders falling from the sky right now?” wrote resident Ian Watson on a community website after his house was shrouded in webs. “I’m 10 minutes out of town and you can clearly see hundreds of little spiders floating along with their webs and my home is covered in them. Someone call a scientist!” Fumigator, more like. 
Apparently it's not the first time or place that the weird and downright terrifying phenomenon has taken place. Reports have also come in from another Aussie town, Wagga Wagga, as well as Texas and Brazil. 

Of course the fact that science has a clear explanation for "spider rain" hasn't got me hurrying to hop on the first plane to Sydney.
Apparently, for the curious, arachnids migrate using a "ballooning" technique that involves using webs to parachute on the breeze to a new territory. Typically the webs evaporate before we even see them, so says Rick Vetter, an entomologist at the University of California Riverside.

Ballooning is the reason we have spiders in every single continent. Yay.

On some level, I'm willing to concede that the webs look quite beautiful; mystical even. And the tiny, rational part of my brain is reminding me that I didn't see a single solitary spider the entire two-and-a-bit weeks I spent in Australia eight years ago.
Still, the larger, more dominant part of my brain is telling me to hide my face in a pillow and SCREAM. Anyone else? On the count of three... 

Image Source: WikiCommons

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