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It is a lot of people’s worst nightmare, but someone has captured footage that appears to show a whole load of little spiders ‘raining’ down from the sky.
This extremely bizarre piece of footage was captured by a young guy called João Pedro Martinelli Fonseca. He was just sitting in a car minding his own business when he spotted the eight-legged creatures seemingly suspended in mid-air, as if falling to earth.
In reality, they are suspended up there by a huge canopy web that the thousands of arachnids have spun together. Yes, it is even more terrifying to learn that spiders can use teamwork.
According to spider experts, it is pretty common for this type of spider – the Parawixia Bistriata – to make huge webs like this when the weather is warm and wet so that they can help each other catch more prey to eat.
Luckily for us, they aren’t interested in humans.
The spiders are totally harmless to us and are only relatively small. Still, João was understandably pretty freaked out about it. Especially when one of them fell through the window of the car that the 14-year-old was a passenger inside.
He said that the whole thing left him feeling ‘stunned and scared’. You’re not on your own there, João.
According to another witness – João’s grandmother – the video footage doesn’t quite do justice to the sheer scale of the web and the number of spiders up there.
Jercina Martinelli said: “There were many more webs and spiders than you can see in the video.
“We’ve seen this before, always at dusk on days when it’s been really hot.”
Well, at least she seems used to it.
As it happens, it isn’t uncommon for spiders to actually rain from the sky. Certain spiders have a nifty trick that allows them to travel hundreds of kilometres called ‘ballooning’.
Without wading too far into biological science, spiders have a way of detecting electrical fields in the atmosphere, and this – scientists believe – causes them to decide to attempt the ‘ballooning’ technique.
That entails getting up to the highest point that they can and then releasing some incredibly thin strands of silk. That gets picked up on the wind and carries the intrepid arachnid off into the sky.
Spiders have even been found at around four kilometres up in the air.
They can travel great distances using this technique, although most don’t actually go that far. Next time you get slapped in the face by a spider descending from the sky, you can take solace in the fact that you’ve just witnessed one of nature’s great marvels.
Or you can run around screaming and then scour your face with a Brillo pad for around a month. That’s also a totally rational reaction.