Lonely Planet Writer

Millions of spiders rain down in Australian shower

It might not be of the cats and dogs variety, but areas of Australia recently experienced a situation where millions of tiny spiders fell in a heavy shower of ‘spider rain’.’

Australia recently experienced  a downpour of  'spider rain' where million of small spiders came down in an avalanche
Australia recently experienced a downpour of ‘spider rain’ where million of small arachnids came down in an avalanche Image by Tim Samoff / CC BY 2.0

The unusual shower left residents alarmed as their properties were covered in not only the creepy insects, but mounds of ‘angel hair’ from their silky web-like weavings as well.

Livescience.com says such arachnid rain isn’t a once-off as they have discovered a number of such ‘spider rain’ incidents.

The downpour in the country’s Southern Tablelands region is has one resident, Ian Watson, taking to Facebook to declare that “my home is covered in them”.

Mr Watson said he couldn’t go outdoors without getting spiders web on him. “And I’ve a beard as well,” he told Yahoo News.

A retired arachnologist at the University of California, Riverside, Rick Vetter, explained the phenomenon in spider transportation called ballooning. He explained that the spiders climb into high areas and put their tail-ends up in the air and release silk before taking off.

Another scientist, Todd Blackledge, a biology professor at the University of Akron in Ohio, said that if weather conditions are not favourable, they are unable to launch. Then, when the weather changes, there are huge numbers of them flying at the same time.

He believed that was what happened in New South Wales, as various types of spiders all ballooned around the Outback during late autumn (May).