Days after a massive storm hit southeast Australia and caused flooding, residents are still struggling to limp back to normalcy with power lines and buildings damaged. As the floodwaters receded, the residents of East Gippsland town in Victoria state have now found themselves surrounded by vast sheets of spiderwebs spread on the roadside, poles, road signs, trees, plants, and everything that is tall or high. The spiderwebs are so huge they look like transparent nets covering the grassland.
Images of the spider webs have emerged on a Reddit discussion forum.
The spiders wove these elaborate webs in a bid to move to higher ground to escape the wrath of the floodwaters and damage to their homes in low areas. According to a BBC report, experts say the “gossamer-like veils” are created by a survival tactic known as “ballooning”, where spiders throw out silk to climb to higher ground.
A report in The Guardian, quoting an expert, said that the bite of the spiders ballooning is not dangerous to humans, but they can cause minor local irritation. The expert added that people should not be worried as the fangs of most of these spiders “are probably too short to penetrate the human skin”.
Wellington Shire Councillor Carolyn Crossley, a birdwatcher, drove around the district to check for birds, reported ABC News. Ms. Crossley said that “very busy spiders” who were escaping the rising waters had created these webs. She even shared a video on her Facebook page that showed a large web blowing in the breeze. She captioned the post, “Couldn't resist sharing this gossamer web billowing in the breeze”, while requesting people to donate for the flood relief.
Dr. Ken Walker, an entomologist at Museums Victoria, was quoted as saying by The Age that he found these webs “absolutely beautiful”. He added that the ground-dwelling spiders need to get off the ground very quickly. “The silk snakes up and catches onto vegetation and they can escape.”
After the images were shared on Reddit, users expressed surprise as well as shock about the size of these webs.
“Can confirm. Drove to the beach today and passed this thinking they put nets on the bushes before I realised,” commented person on the Reddit post with the username “cat_lady_451”.
“Is it one type of spider or are there spider wars going on?” said Platypus_Dundee.
“Ahh Australia, you got fires, storms, mice, spiders. We should get a bloody award for surviving,” said Asoka3.
"Simultaneously beautiful and terrifying," said Trevor McIntosh.
“I can't wait for the mouse plague vs spider apocalypse showdown,” said leeseylemon.
East Gippsland was hit by days of persistent rain last week and this led to floodwaters entering residential areas and damaging concrete structures and electric poles. The region is also experiencing a degree of mouse plague activity. Keywords: Australia spider web, floodwaters, VictoriaClick for more trending news