Plague of spiders in Australia as floodwaters force them to higher ground

Digital Writers
·1 min read
Plague of spiders in Australia as floodwaters force them to higher ground
Plague of spiders in Australia as floodwaters force them to higher ground

Australia, no stranger to severe weather, is grappling with a once-in-a-generation flood crisis this week, with thousands of people forced to evacuate amid the worst flooding in 60 years.

That's already a serious problem for people in the country, and it's now compounded by one more: The floodwaters are forcing Australia's legendarily numerous spiders out of their burrows and onto higher ground, wherever that might be.

One woman in New South Wales, Melanie Williams, went viral after posting video and photos of her garage covered countless thousands of small spiders, many clutching egg sacs as they sought refuge.

"As the water was rising, the letterbox was going under further and further and I could see all these little black things on there and I thought 'oh my God, they're spiders'," she told the country's ABC broadcaster. "Then I looked at my neighbour's fence and almost had a heart attack. There were literally thousands of them."

Many of the spiders in question have been identified as wolf spiders, and Williams isn't the only one who's been unnerved by their appearance en masse.

However, Sydney University Prof. Dieter Hochuli told News.com.au that the spiders, and other ground-dwelling creatures displaced by the floods, are acting as would be expected.

“Some spiders can survive underwater for a period of time but others can’t and those ones are basically trying to move from the ground floor to the penthouse to avoid being flooded out," he told the website. “They can’t fly, so they do what they have to, to escape the water.”

Thumbnail photo credit: Patrick Kavanaugh/Wikimedia Commons.