Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Spiders fall from the sky in Australia leaving what enthusiasts call 'Angel Hair'

Part of a migration phenonmon known as 'ballooning'

Rose Troup Buchanan
Monday 18 May 2015 11:50 BST
A shed in Australia is surrounding by spiders webs back in 2012
A shed in Australia is surrounding by spiders webs back in 2012 (Reuters)

Arachnophobes be warned: it is (allegedly) raining spiders in Australia.

In the more ridiculous news of the day, scientists have confirmed that it is possible for the eight-legged creatures to be falling from the sky in southern Australia.

Earlier this month astonished locals told The Sydney Morning Herald that their area had been “invaded by spiders”.

Ian Watson, who lives in the New South Wales’ town of Goulburn near the east coast, said the invasion of spiders – while beautiful – was also “annoying”.

"The whole place was covered in these little black spiderlings and when I looked up at the sun it was like this tunnel of webs going up for a couple of hundred metres into the sky," he told the The SMH.

Other residents also reported seeing the spiders on 4 May, with one woman claiming she saw what appeared to be silk thread “floating through the sky”.

Her sighting is due to a migration technique commonly associated with spiders, explains naturlist Martyn Robinson from the Australian Museum.

‘Ballooning,’ usually used by baby spiders, sees the arachnoids climb to the top of tall vegetation before releasing a silk balloon and allowing the wind to carry them. Spiders have been recorded travelling up to three kilometres using this method.

"They can literally travel for kilometres … which is why every continent has spiders. Even in Antarctica they regularly turn up but just die," he told The SMH.

The mass migration of spiders recently means that occasionally you can have entire areas covered in the thin gossamer of spiders, leading to some enthusiasts calling it Angel Hair.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in