It’s Raining Spiders – level 3

19-07-2017 15:00

Residents in New South Wales, Australia had a horrifying shock when thousands of baby spiders quite literally rained down from the sky. Creepy-crawlies invade the town; people found homes and gardens covered with the spiders and mounds of their silky threads.

The terrifying scenes would probably cause mass panic in most places, however the phenomenon commonly known as ‘Spider Rain’, ‘Angel Hair’ and ‘ballooning’, is not uncommon across parts of Australia. Ballooning is a form of spider transportation which is when some species of spiders climb to the highest heights that they possibly can, like on the tops of plants or trees. They then use their web as parachutes and leap off. The silk catches on the breeze and carries the spider. People are then left with the gossamer, which is the name for the silver sheets of silken webs left behind. Reportedly, this is going on around us all the time, but at a much smaller scale.

The spiders can often travel a pretty big distance and people have seen some come flying more than 2.9 kilometres above the ground. Spiders are thought to come raining down because of a preceding change in a weather conditions. If it rains a lot and the ground gets waterlogged, spiders move their way upwards to avoid drowning.

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), gossamer (thin, silver pieces of a web), waterlog (be full of water).

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