Spiderwebs in Australia
Large swathes of spiderwebs were seen in Gippsland, eastern Victoria.
Jeff Hobbs/Reuters
  • Cobwebs have carpeted large areas in the eastern Victorian region of Gippsland.
  • They're the result of millions of spiders escaping flooding in the region, a senior entomology curator told The Guardian.
  • Residents have posted images and videos online, with some calling the phenomenon "beautiful" while others say it's a "spider apocalypse."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Australian arachnids have carpeted the eastern Victoria countryside in gossamer silk after days of heavy rain waterlogged the area.

The spiderwebs, blanketed across the region of Gippsland, are covering entire trees, roads, and grass fields. The BBC reported that spiders spread webbing across more than half a mile along a road in one area.

It's the result of millions of spiders banding their webs into massive safety nets to escape the flooding, Dr. Ken Walker, senior curator of entomology at the Melbourne Museum, told The Guardian.

He said this is a "semi-regular occurrence" in Victoria when it rains more during the Australian winter.

According to Walker, the spiders typically spin their "lighter than air" silks to parachute up and fly hundreds of miles but used their skills this time to get to higher ground.

Called sheetweb spiders, these nocturnal critters live on the ground and can have a span of up to almost six inches. They have been found to create webs of up to three feet long.

But when large numbers of them start spinning webs all at once, the webs begin latching on to each other and form giant swathes of silk - something called the gossamer effect, Dr. Walker told The Guardian.

Each spider only contributes one thread, meaning that every line of silk represents a different spider, he added.

Residents of the area posted images and videos of the phenomenon online, with one calling it "beautiful" while others named it a "spider apocalypse."

Local council member Carolyn Crossley shared a video on Facebook showing the webs billowing in the breeze. Several natural disasters in recent months have battered Australia. Extreme flooding in March forced 18,000 people to be evacuated in the state of New South Wales, which includes the capitol of Sydney.

In May, waves of mice swarmed onto farms and ravaged crops in various regions of the country.

"We can see mother nature can be beautiful but she can also be destructive," wrote Crossley in her Facebook post.

Read the original article on Insider