Images taken in the East Gippsland region show cobwebs covering large areas like a sheet. Some of the photos were posted by a Reddit user who said, “If the floods weren’t enough, I give you, the spider apocalypse.
Victoria was hit by heavy rains and high winds last week, forcing thousands to evacuate. There are still many who remain without power in the state as authorities repair transformers and clear roads.
Gippsland was hit hard in flooding last week and the area could still receive heavy rainfall this week. Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp told the Australian Associated Press that there was “a chance that we could see up to 50mm in eastern Gippsland and return to the south and the west of Gippsland ”.
University of Sydney Professor Dieter Hochuli said cobwebs are a natural phenomenon, not an apocalypse.
He said 7NEWS that what has been seen in Victoria is a group of spiders called web spiders that mostly stay on the soil layer, but start moving around during heavy rains and flooding.
“They are moving to higher ground (and building a new house there),” he said. 7NEWS.
Professor Hochuli also said that the webs of these spiders are flat and different from the webs of orbs – the ones we usually see.
Local media reported that the phenomenon is known as “ballooning”. In such events, spiders release strands of silk which are caught by the wind and allow them to be carried away.
“Many disembark nearby, sometimes enveloping the landscape in vaporous silk; but others can travel long distances across land or sea, ”according to the Australian Museum.
MP Jason Wood also shared a photo of Gippsland:
A similar phenomenon was observed in Gippsland in 2013 when a sheet of cobwebs covered the area after heavy rains.
Earlier this year, residents of New South Wales shared photos of clusters of spiders entering homes as they tried to escape the flood waters. The spiders, which were later identified as wolf spiders, came to seek refuge in homes as New South Wales was hit by the worst flooding in 50 years.