The people of New South Wales, Australia have had to flee their homes due to flooding. Those fortunate enough to be able to shelter in place are now being met with an unending wave of spiders. If there wasn’t footage showing just how terrible this actually is, it would probably be understated in the history books. It is a lot of spiders. Words to describe quantity don’t do it justice, the visuals are needed. In the below video you can see arachnids in more suburban areas.
In the picture below, you can see the spiders attempting to flee the rising flood waters in a more rural setting, where there are even more of them fleeing their natural habitats.
According to what arachnologist Dr. Lizzy Lowe told The Guardian, this is exactly how many spiders are usually there at this point. Because there isn’t a lot of dry ground, they’re searching for safe places and coming into contact with more humans. It seems doubtful this information makes anyone in New South Wales feel better about the situation.
Most of the spiders are not deadly. However, due to the humidity levels and the weather warming up, conditions are set for the deadly funnel spider to see a fast rise in funnel-web spiders. These arachnids are deadly and enjoy living near water. People in New South Wales have been warned to check their bedsheets and shoes for safety. Of course, with so many spiders around, spotting the deadly ones has become more difficult.
At this point, NPR has reported that 40,000 people have been forced to flee their homes due to the rising waters. While that is a lot of people, it’s the size of the flooded area that may be more mindblowing. In an interview with the BBC, a scientist named Thomas Mortlock explained that the affected area is equivalent to two European countries. The below image gives some idea of the size of the flooding.
Seeing clusters of spiders during floods isn’t uncommon. However, the size of these floods, and so then the massive number of spiders, is not a common event. While the flooding isn’t consistent across the state, they’ve seen an average of 16 inches of rain in a period of seven days. In the hardest-hit areas of the state, this level of flooding will only be seen once in a century. For city streets, this means a few inches of flooding at places of higher ground, but up to the door handles for others.
While much of the state is seeing masses of spiders, some are also adding snakes to the mix. Mostly, the snakes are finding refuge in the trees. However, some are swimming towards boats, homes, and anywhere else they may find a dry place to rest. Meanwhile, more inland, Australians are also facing a plague of mice. And, we cannot forget, they are still attempting to move forward with vaccinations for COVID. At this point, their vaccination sites have managed to stay open.
The recent extreme weather conditions, and the pandemic, have really hit Australia hard. Hopefully, the waters and spiders recede soon.