Specialists are putting forth up clarifications after a huge number of baby arachnids descended upon Goulburn, Australia, early May, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
“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,” resident Ian Watson told the Morning Herald.
Watson said his entire house “was covered in these little black spiderlings.”
“You couldn’t go out without getting spider webs on you,” Watson added. “And I’ve got a beard as well, so they kept getting in my beard.”
Martyn Robinson, a naturalist working at the Australia Museum, told the Morning Herald in an interview that mass spider movement appeared as though the small animals were tumbling down from the sky.
In a technique called “ballooning,” Robinson explained how baby arachnids climb to the top of plants or trees and release a streamer of silk that carries them in the breeze.
“They can literally travel for kilometers,” he told the Morning Herald.
Keith Basterfield, a retiree in South Australia, told the Goulburn Post he has been watching the same sensation, called Angel Hair, since 2001.
“What happens is that during a particular time of the year, particularly in May and August, young spiders in the Outback somewhere throw these threads of spiderwebs up in the air and use them as a parachute to detach themselves from the ground and move in large colonies through the sky,” Basterfield said.
He told the Post the spider webs could “look almost as it it’s snowing.”