Why have spiders spun webs spreading over a large region in Australia

By: |
June 17, 2021 5:40 PM

Millions of spiders spread their webs over the trees, poles and roads reportedly in an attempt to escape from a heavily inundated region.

The phenomenon which is a regular feature at some places on the planet also fades on their own within a week's time. (Credit: Reuters)

Spider webs spread over closed places, ceiling and corners of the wall is a common sight in all households but have you seen spider webs spread over streets, trees and open roads? In an instance of extremely heavy rainfall in Australia’s southeastern state of Victoria, millions of spiders spread their webs over the trees, poles and roads reportedly in an attempt to escape from a heavily inundated region, the Indian Express reported. The long intricate webs spread by spiders over a large area are known as “gossamer” sheets and is a regular occurance in Australia in many regions.

Why do spiders form large webs?
Just like humans and other species, spiders formed such large webs in order to escape and save themselves from the extremely high precipitation in the region. With the help of the survival tactic called “ballooning”, the spiders laid their intricate webs on objects at a higher altitude than the ground and climbed up from the ground. The spiders with the help of such webs climb up from the ground till the water level recedes and ensures their survival.

What led to formation of gossamer sheets
The Victoria state has received heavy rainfall coupled with strong winds since last week which caused flash floods and water logging in the region threatening the survival of spiders. In a bid to escape from the increasing level of water on the ground, lakhs of spiders of the region joined forces and spun their webs at the same time creating gossamer sheets spread over a large area.

A large number of gossamer sheets have been formed between the Sale and Langford towns which are situated 8 kilometres apart. Few gossamer sheets formed by the spiders are as long as 1 kilometre. The state of Victoria which receives most of its rainfall in winters regularly witnesses this phenomenon every year. The delicate and extremely thin lighter than air webs get hold of the objects at a higher altitude and help spiders climb up from the water puddle to a state of safety.

Do gossamer sheets cause damage to human health?
According to the Indian Express report, the gossamer sheets are not understood to be dangerous to human health. The phenomenon which is a regular feature at some places on the planet also fades on their own within a week’s time.

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