Earlier this month, the residents of Goulburn – a small town in Australia’s Southern Tablelands – were spooked to discover their properties blanketed by millions of tiny spiders and mounds of their silky threads. The spiders had apparently rained down from the sky, silken thread and all, a phenomenon known as “Angel Rain”.
“Anyone else experiencing this Angel Hair or maybe aka millions of spiders falling from the sky right now?” wrote resident Ian Watson on the Goulburn Community Forum Facebook page. “I’m 10 minutes out of town, and you can clearly see hundreds of little spiders floating along with their webs and my home is covered in them. Someone call a scientist!”
That sounds positively frightful, but experts say that arachnid rains are actually a natural phenomenon, and not as uncommon as you’d think. It is referred to as ‘spider rain’ or ‘angel hair’ in scientific circles, and is actually a form of spider transportation called ‘ballooning’.
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