In an arachnophobe's worst nightmare, swarms of spiders spin webs in a bush in flood-ravaged Wagga Wagga (map), Australia, Tuesday. After a week of record rain, floodwaters across eastern Australia have forced the ground-dwelling spiders—and at least 13,000 people—to flee their homes, according to Reuters. The rampant webs blanketing vast stretches of Wagga Wagga are likely "a dispersal mechanism that allows [spiders] to move out of places where they'd surely be drowned," said Robert Matthews, a professor emeritus of entomology at the University of Georgia. Producing large quantities of silk creates a sort of "vast trampoline" that supports the spiders as they're fleeing the water, he noted. Matthews added he he has never seen such a "striking phenomenon." "Gee, it's impressive." (Related: "Pictures: Trees Cocooned in Webs After Flood.")

Spider Swarm

In an arachnophobe's worst nightmare, swarms of spiders spin webs in a bush in flood-ravaged Wagga Wagga (map), Australia, Tuesday. After a week of record rain, floodwaters across eastern Australia have forced the ground-dwelling spiders—and at least 13,000 people—to flee their homes, according to Reuters. The rampant webs blanketing vast stretches of Wagga Wagga are likely "a dispersal mechanism that allows [spiders] to move out of places where they'd surely be drowned," said Robert Matthews, a professor emeritus of entomology at the University of Georgia. Producing large quantities of silk creates a sort of "vast trampoline" that supports the spiders as they're fleeing the water, he noted. Matthews added he he has never seen such a "striking phenomenon." "Gee, it's impressive." (Related: "Pictures: Trees Cocooned in Webs After Flood.")
Photograph by Daniel Munoz, Reuters

Spiderwebs Blanket Countryside After Australian Floods (Pictures)

Spiders trying to ride out floods in Wagga Wagga, Australia, are coating the town in thick webs.

Read This Next

These ants can shrink and regrow their brains

How to stop discarded face masks from polluting the planet

‘Tiger King’ stars’ face scrutiny in court

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet