Ballooning Spiders – who knew the weird little guys can fly? #nature #Australian #flood #creepy #science

Wrong kind of ballooning!

Wrong kind of ballooning!

Record rains have fueled major floods around Launceston, the second-largest city in Tasmania, Australian. I’d expect people to evacuate.

But I didn’t expect spiders to take to the air. In a “mass ballooning event,” millions of small black spiders climbed as high as they could and spun out enough silk to catch the wind and transport them away. Thanks to weather patterns, they tend to land in the same place.

Local resident Ken Puccetti, who photographed the webs, [said] the silk was so dense, that his attempts to photograph it ended with his shoes, legs, and arms covered with silk—and the occasional spider.

“Sheets” and a “tangled mat” of webbing covers trees in flooded Launceston, which may indicate that the spiders were blown back to their starting points many times, to abandon the old webbing and start again, before escaping – since there don’t seem to be many spiders among the silk.

Pretty darn impressive for a bug.

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