It’s raining spiders- level 3

It’s raining spiders- level 3

27-05-2015 15:00

It looks like something from a horror movie, doesn’t it? Well, for residents in Goulburn, in south Australia, it was reality.

They had a horrifying shock when thousands of baby spiders quite literally rained down from the sky. The town was invaded by the creepy-crawlies as homes and gardens were reportedly covered with the spiders and mounds of their silky threads.

Whilst the terrifying scenes would probably cause mass panic in most places, the phenomenon commonly known as “Spider Rain” or “Angel Hair,” isn’t uncommon across parts of Australia. And there’s actually a word for it: ballooning.

Ballooning is a form of spider transportation. It’s basically when some species of spiders climb to the highest heights they possibly can, like to the tops of plants or trees. They then use their web silk as tiny parachutes and just leap off. The silk catches on the breeze and carries the spider wherever he wants to go. We are then left with gossamer, the name for the silver sheets of silken webs left behind.

This is reportedly going on around us all the time, we just don’t notice it, because it’s not common for millions of spiders to do it at the same time and land in the same place. Bad luck to the people of Goulburn!

Spiders are thought to come raining down because of a change in weather conditions. If it rains a lot and the ground gets waterlogged, spiders that either live on the surface of the ground or in burrows make their way upwards to avoid drowning. They then use their silk roads to escape. Spiders have virtually no control of where or how far they travel, but by ballooning, they can often travel pretty big distances. Some have been seen flying more than 1.8 miles above the ground.

Difficult words: literally (actually), creepy-crawly (an insect), mound (a lot of things on top of each other), phenomenon (an event), species  (a type of animal), tiny (very little), gossamer (thin, silver pieces of a web), waterlog (to be full of water), burrow (a hole an animal lives in), silk road (a long web), virtually (actually).


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