Spider webs cover the Australia landscape, 7 March 2012. 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. 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. Daniel Munoz / Reuters

7 March 2012 (National Geographic) – In an arachnophobe's worst nightmare, swarms of spiders spin webs in a bush in flood-ravaged Wagga Wagga (map), Australia, Tuesday.

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.")

Spiderwebs Blanket Countryside After Australian Floods via Apocadocs

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