No – it’s not a scene from Arachnophobia or Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. These spiders have escaped the floodwaters inundating the town of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, Australia, by moving to higher ground and building massive networks of interconnected webs over raised sticks and bushes. They have covered entire fields with snow-like coverings. Meanwhile, the floodwaters show no sign of subsiding from the town, declared a disaster area: 9000 people have been evacuated.
The town has experienced its highest rainfall on record, at 188 millimetres in the week from 27 February, 40 millimetres higher than the previous record. The flood itself is the worst in Wagga Wagga since 1853, although the State Emergency Service has said that the Murrumbidgee river is unlikely to cause further flooding by bursting its levee.
Flooding is also widespread in Queensland and Victoria, and The Sydney Morning Herald warned today that the deluge could go on for a month.
NotesSee photo gallery at http://news.yahoo.com/photos/spider-webs-encase-flooded-australia-1331141660-slideshow/
The source article Short Sharp Science: Floods provoke a Wagga-Wagga-wide web was published March 6, 2012 by New Scientist .