Bright Side

Why Millions of Spiders Suddenly Rain Down All Over the World

Clouds are seen on the horizon and the breeze begins to stir the branches of the trees. Suddenly, you notice that something has fallen on your head. No, it’s not a raindrop — it’s a small spider that then ventures into the void, seeking a new life far from its nest before the storm begins. This is what happens on a massive scale when a shower of spiders falls to the ground.

Here at Bright Side, we’ve grown very curious about this phenomenon and started to investigate why it happens — with the permission of people with arachnophobia, of course.

1. We live surrounded by thousands of spiders.

Millions of spiders live among us, weaving their webs to hunt their favorite food, mosquitoes. This should make them our best friends, although, the truth is, the sight of hundreds of spiders falling around us can be a bit chilling. If you don’t think so, imagine walking through a field on a cold autumn morning. Oh no, wait, it’s not frost, but rather, thousands of spider webs that have rained down on the meadow. Creepy, right?

2. The spider babies hatch and take to the skies to find a new home.

Spider moms lay their eggs in a large silk bag that maintains moisture and a certain temperature until the tiny spiders hatch. When they’re ready to start an independent life, the spiderlings climb the trees and from up high, they prepare their landing without knowing what their final destination will be.

3. Spiders don’t exactly fly but travel by ballooning.

Little spiders dream big and aim high. They shoot straight into the sky, releasing fine silk thread from their spinnerets until they become aloft. These automatically form a triangular-shaped parachute and then they just take off. This movement is called ballooning and it allows spiders to travel away.

4. It seems to rain if they all “fly” at the same time.

The reason people don’t usually notice this crazy spider behavior is because it’s not common for millions of spiders to do this at the same time. There’d have to be a good reason for hundreds of spiders to suddenly decide to set out on their journey all at once. Scientists who have studied this behavior have concluded that spiders take into account the intensity of the wind and favorable electric fields when deciding to make the jump. Just before a storm, when the wind gusts are strong, hundreds of spiders can jump at once, literally causing spiders to rain.

5. Spider rain happens from time to time in Australia.

In Australia, it’s common to have a “spider season,” when baby spiders make their mass migration movement. The result of their journey leaves the spiders on the ground along with a ghostly blanket of their silk on the fields.

6. It can happen anytime, anywhere and we don’t have a spider umbrella (even for those without arachnophobia).

If the conditions are favorable, a good day in the countryside may surprise you with this particular rain for which there is no weather forecast or umbrella. Covering yourself with a hood may help because it can be very uncomfortable for one of the spider webs to get tangled in your hair or beard.

Did you know that spiders fall from the sky, even if they have no wings? Have you ever seen “spider rain” with your own eyes? What was your reaction? We’re eager to know, so tell us in the comments!