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Before Planning That Trip to Australia...

15 views    19 comments posted 03 Aug 2012, 21:52    
Thousands of spiders blanket Australian farm after escaping flood
By Eric Pfeiffer, Yahoo! News | The Sideshow – Wed, Mar 7, 2012

What appears to be snow is actually spider webs blanketing an Australian farm. (Daniel Munoz/Reuters)
Thousands of normally solitary wolf spiders have blanketed an Australian farm after fleeing a rising flood.
Reuters reports that the flooding has forced more than 8,000 Australian (human) residents from their homes in the city of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. But for every temporarily displaced person, it appears several spiders have moved in to fill the void.
"What we've seen here is a type of wolf spider," Owen Seeman, an arachnid expert at Queensland Museum, told Reuters. "They are trying to hide away (from the waters)."
The Australian Museum's entomology collections manager Graham Milledge told Reuters that there's even a term for the phenomenon, "ballooning," and that it is typical behavior for spiders forced to escape rising waters.
You can watch a video here of researchers on the hunt for ballooning spiders from the safety of a hot air balloon.

A dog casually walks through the ballooning spider webs (Daniel Munoz/Reuters)
Thankfully for local residents, the occupying arachnids are not likely to set up permanent residence, a la the 1977 William Shatner clunker "Kingdom of the Spiders." Weather reports say the flood waters in Wagga Wagga have begun receding, meaning that locals will soon be returning to their homes and the wolf spiders will also be returning to their natural underground habitats.
And it turns out the spiders are actually doing quite a bit of good while setting up shop above ground. The spiders are feasting on mosquitoes and other insect populations that have boomed with the increased moisture brought about by the rising waters.
"The amount of mosquitoes around would be incredible because of all this water," Taronga Zoo spider keeper Brett Finlayson told the Sydney Morning Herald. "The spiders don't pose any harm at all. They are doing us a favor. They are actually helping us out."

Spiders and other insects fill the trees after flooding last year in Pakistan (Russell Watkins/U.K. Department …
As amazing as this display may be, it's not the first time photographers have captured massive displaced spider migrations. One of the most famous pictures of 2011, above, showed millions of spiders and other insects in Pakistan that had formed massive web clusters in trees to escape rising floodwaters.
"It was largely spiders," Russell Watkins, U.K. Department for International Development, told National Geographic. "Certainly, when we were there working, if you stood under one of these trees, dozens of small, very, very tiny spiders would just be dropping down onto your head."

Ok, folks...did you hear that? DOZENS of SPIDERS would just be DROPPING DOWN on your HEAD!!! But...get this....they're doing us a FAVOR...they're HELPING US OUT...It's worse than I originally thought...the strain of living on this man-killing continent has driven our poor Aussie friends INSANE...

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Blog: Before Planning That Trip to Australia...

Top Comments

7
SirSeedsAlot111.96K • 04 Aug 2012, 01:02
that explains the kanagroo fetus' coming up when i burp
7
RoughJustice32.82K • 03 Aug 2012, 22:40
Before planning that trip to the UK or America... make sure you pack plenty of pepper spray....
7
AhrimanThorn29.23K • 04 Aug 2012, 00:59
Here are some of the trees from when it happened in Pakistan last year. I think they look rather beautiful. Of course these are not the deadly crawl into your mouth and lay eggs in your stomach Australian spiders so quite different really. (Every Australian creature will try to do that to you, including dingoes and wallabies)
image

All Comments

0
Max1066 • 04 Sep 2013, 15:51 Show comment
Lol love it titter
2
Pick_n_Roll21.14K • 04 Aug 2012, 05:38 Show comment
finally an opportunity for one to become Spiderman, oh wait am already Batman..
1
Phoenix4ever10.08K • 04 Aug 2012, 06:23 Show comment
loltitter be both man...lol spiderbat
1
Pick_n_Roll21.14K • 04 Aug 2012, 10:40 Show comment
Am way too busylol

1
Deporjuan6429 • 04 Aug 2012, 05:35 Show comment
I want to visit Australia... always has lured my curiosity
2
Mertado6481 • 04 Aug 2012, 05:35 Show comment
I love the Aussie names for their towns, rivers, etc.
Always brings a smile to my face.
biggrintitterlolcry
7
AhrimanThorn29.23K • 04 Aug 2012, 00:59 Show comment
Here are some of the trees from when it happened in Pakistan last year. I think they look rather beautiful. Of course these are not the deadly crawl into your mouth and lay eggs in your stomach Australian spiders so quite different really. (Every Australian creature will try to do that to you, including dingoes and wallabies)
image
7
SirSeedsAlot111.96K • 04 Aug 2012, 01:02 Show comment
that explains the kanagroo fetus' coming up when i burp
1
Pick_n_Roll21.14K • 04 Aug 2012, 05:39 Show comment
eh lol
3
sookiKat34.01K • 04 Aug 2012, 06:15 Show comment
did a giant spider sneeze on that tree
1
tchorbus2488 • 04 Aug 2012, 12:50 Show comment
...not as bad as those Aussies who convince you how those eggs in the stomach have to be fertilised...shocked
tittertitter

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