It's Raining Spiders In Wagga Wagga; Scientists Debunk Conspiracies

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IN PHOTO: A house is surrounded by spiderwebs next to flood waters in Wagga Wagga March 6, 2012. Floods across eastern Australia forced more than 13,000 people to evacuate their homes on Tuesday after record-high summer rains drenched three states over the past week, swelling rivers and forcing dams to overflow. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

Millions of spiders have descended on the countryside near Wagga Wagga, leading to theories of “UFO invasion” and “invasion by spiders.” Scientists have discounted these theories and attributed the phenomenon to the baby boom in the spider community.

Residents across Southern Australia have reported that baby spiders are "raining from the sky," with their homes and lawns covered by spider webs. According to Sydney Morning Herald, locals have seen tunnels of webs going up to hundred of metres up to the sky. Residents like Ian Watson wrote on the community Facebook page that his house looked like it was taken over by spiders.

"It is beautiful," he wrote. “But at the same time I was annoyed ... you couldn't go out without getting spider webs on you ... they kept getting on my beard.”

There have been many conspiracy theories surrounding this phenomenon, like a possible UFO invasion. According to the New Daily, UFO enthusiasts like Keith Basterfield have often considered this phenomenon as a residue from a flying saucer lift-off. He has written to the Goulburn Post to cast some light into this phenomenon referred to as “Angel Hair” by many residents.

But scientists have a credible explanation that even sceptics have accepted. Naturalist Martyn Robinson told SMH that this phenomenon is not unusual and it is associated with migration of baby spiders. They use the technique called “ballooning” to disperse themselves across the area. The spider babies climb the vegetation and send up streamers of silk that catches the breeze to carry them across. Spiders have been caught flying high up as three kilometres from the ground and thus are the first animals to reach newly formed islands.The mass migration of baby spiders has led to the countryside completely festooned with gossamer spider webs.

Spider migration has fascinated scientists and locals alike because of the Angel Hair phenomenon. While a large majority accept the scientific explanation, this yearly migration still gives rise to conspiracy theories on social media. 

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