If you are among the people who understand how Ron felt while watching spiders in Harry Potter, this might be scarier.
People in the city of Albury in New South Wales in Australia witnessed a bizarre sight last week as silky webs coated the land, full of baby spiders. In a process known as ballooning, these spiders parachuted from the sky.
During the months of May and August, Outback arachnids throw their webs up into the air, moving in huge formations throughout the sky. These spider colonies then travel through the air and fall in masses of web and silk down to the grown, covering everything from buildings to farmlands.
“We see these vast areas of baby spiders, all coming down at once in the late morning or early afternoon,” Keith Basterfield, a retiree who studies the phenomenon, also called “angel hair,” told the Goulburn Post. “You can know this has happened by either seeing it or spotting what looks like long threads of cotton on telegraph poles, power lines, and houses.”
Basterfield has become something of an “angel hair” expert, collecting an extensive catalog of sightings of the spider migration phenomenon since 2001.
He isn’t the only person to be fascinated by this spider sojourn to the Australian countryside. Some locals took to social media to document the bizarre sight.
He is not the sole person to be amazed by the spider sojourn on the Australian countryside. Some locals sent this to the local media for documenting the unusual sight.
“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!,” wrote Ian Watson in a post to the Goulburn Community Forum Facebook page, reports the Goulburn Post. “If you look toward the sun there are millions of them and really high up here … there is also a cotton-like substance coming down that is kinda like spider web but not exactly.”
The phenomenon has even inspired some classic literature.
“A noiseless, patientspider/I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated/Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding/It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself/Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly spreading them,” wrote none other than Walt Whitman in his poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider.”