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."
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