Wolf Spider Swarm in Australia by National Geo staff (Mar. 7,…

Wolf Spider Swarm in Australia

by National Geo staff

(Mar. 7, 2012) - In an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare, swarms of spiders spin webs in a bush in flood-ravaged Wagga Wagga, Australia. After a week of record rain, floodwaters across eastern Australia have forced the ground-dwelling spiders—and at least 13,000 people—to flee their homes, according to Reuters.

The rampant webs blanketing vast stretches of Wagga Wagga are likely “a dispersal mechanism that allows [spiders] to move out of places where they’d surely be drowned,” said Robert Matthews, a professor emeritus of entomology at the University of Georgia.

Producing large quantities of silk creates a sort of “vast trampoline” that supports the spiders as they’re fleeing the water, he noted. Matthews added he he has never seen such a “striking phenomenon.” “Gee, it’s impressive.”

(Related: “Pictures: Trees Cocooned in Webs After Flood.”)

(Read more: National Geo)

(photos: TL/BL/BR - Daniel Munoz/Reuters, TR - Lukas Coch/EPA)