Residents in Goulburn, Australia endured a phenomenon known as “Angel Hair”, which sounds lovely but it is, in fact, a “snow storm” of spiders, raining down from the skies and blanketed the landscape with silky spider webs.
For a week, the residents of the community in New South Wales, were blanketed by the tiny 8-legged arachnids. The unusual “weather event” in May 2015 caught the world’s attention.
One Goulburn resident, Ian Watson, said that his entire house looked like it had been “abandoned and taken over by spiders.”
Watson took to Facebook to confirm he wasn’t the only one experiencing being rained on by tiny black spiders. “Anyone else experiencing … millions of spiders falling from the sky right now?” he wrote on the town’s community 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!”
Scientists answered the call. Rick Vetter, a retired arachnologist, told Live Science that the phenomenon is called “ballooning”. It is a common behavior for arachnids. Spiders climb to a high area, stick their “butts” in the air and release silk, making themselves a kind of parachute. Then the colonies float in the sky until they land where the winds take them, which on this occasion, appears to have been Watson’s house.
When the webbing falls on the ground it looks like the ground is covered in snow or Angel Hair!
Watson told the Sydney Morning Herald that it was beautiful, “But at the same time I was annoyed because … you couldn’t go out without getting spider webs on you. And I’ve got a beard as well, so they kept getting in my beard.”
The video below reports on the spider ballooning/Angel Hair phenomenon that occurred in Wagga Wagga, Australia a few years ago.
Here is a video of “Angel Hair” falling from the sky:
A similar incident was captured on film in Brazil, when the sky grew black with raining spiders.
Share this amazing (and spooky!) natural event with your friends!