In a scene similar to a horror movie, locals of a small town in Australia were terrified to see hundreds of little spiders rain down on them from the sky.

According to reports, residents of Goulburn, Australia suddenly found themselves besieged by a massive number of spiders that they said could have blocked out the sun.

Ian Watson, one of the residents who witnessed the event, said that there were so many spiders that his head was covered by the tiny arachnids.

"The whole place was covered in these little black spiderlings, and when I looked up at the sun it was like this tunnel of webs going up for a couple of hundred meters into the sky," he said.

After his encounter with the baby spiders, Watson went online and posted about the event on the town's social media account. He received responses from other residents who said their homes were also invaded by the eight-legged creatures.

Rick Vetter, a retired arachnologist from the University of California, Riverside, explained that the locals of Goulburn experienced a migration of spiders commonly known as ballooning.

Vetter said spiders are known to climb high areas and release silk through their behind. Afterwards, these spiders will simply take off and go somewhere else. The phenomenon, he added, has been happening around people without anybody noticing it.

Biology professor Todd Blackledge of the University of Akron in Ohio said the reason why ballooning is not seen by people is because millions of spiders do not often land on the same spot at the same time.

"In these kinds of events [spider rains], what's thought to be going on is that there's a whole cohort of spiders that's ready to do this ballooning dispersal behavior, but for whatever reason, the weather conditions haven't been optimal and allowed them to do that," Blackledge said.

"But then the weather changes, and they have the proper conditions to balloon, and they all start to do it."

While the experience with the ballooning of hundreds of little spiders may have frightened the residents of Goulburn, experts believe they do not pose any threat to people.

Blackledge pointed out that there are only a few spiders with venoms that can be considered dangerous to humans. Even if these baby spiders did belong in that group, the biology professor said, they are too small to even bite a person.

Photo: Stewart Black | Flickr

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