(NEXSTAR) – Millions of spiders have spun giant webs in parts of Australia’s state of Victoria as they try to escape flooding in the region.
The webs stretched for several kilometers along wetlands bordering a highway in the Gippsland region, according to 9News.
The phenomenon is known as ‘ballooning’ — a survival instinct where ground-dwelling spiders release silk strands which are caught by the wind and lift them away from floodwaters, local media outlets reported.
“So what they do is they release this silk up and they act like snag wires. They snag the vegetation up above and then they can quickly climb up and get out of the way,” Dr. Ken Walker of Museums Victoria told 9News.
A similar phenomenon of mass webs was seen in Gippsland in 2013 when a sheet of cobwebs covered the region after heavy rains, according to the Independent.