Videos show thousands of spiders swarming across the ground on Australia's east coast as they flee floodwaters

·3 min read
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  • Record flooding in the state of New South Wales has prompted spiders to seek higher ground.

  • Australians are sharing footage of thousands of spiders crawling up walls and across fields.

  • Experts have said not to worry about the spiders and to leave them alone.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Every arachnophobe's worst nightmare is playing out in the Australian state of New South Wales, where record flooding is causing hordes of spiders to appear as they head for higher ground.

Residents in New South Wales have been sharing footage showing thousands upon thousands of the spiders emerging and sprawling because of the extreme weather.

One resident, Matt Lovenfosse, shared a picture with Guardian Australia, showing "millions of spiders" overtaking a field on his property because of rising waters on a nearby creek.

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"It's amazing. It's crazy," he told Guardian Australia. "The spiders all crawled up onto the house, onto fences, and whatever they can get onto."

Christy Johns, a journalist at Australia's Network 11 channel, also shared this footage of spiders spreading across a field in Kinchela Creek, credited to Lovenfosse:

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Shenae and Steve Varley also shared footage with Guardian Australia of spiders crawling up a railing at Penrith Weir in western Sydney on Sunday.

Shenae said spiders covered "the entire length of the railing that's not underwater."

And it wasn't just spiders seeking higher ground. "There were also skinks, ants, basically every insect, crickets - all just trying to get away from the floodwaters," she told Guardian Australia. "My husband videoed it, because I was not going close to it. When he was standing still he had spiders climbing up his legs."

Another video making the rounds was shot by Melanie Williams of Macksville, New South Wales. Williams shared the video with ABC News Australia, and it shows thousands of spiders crawling all over her neighbor's garage.

"I occasionally see spiders around the place but never anything like that, it was just insane," she told the ABC.

Watch the footage here:

Williams told ABC News Australia the video was taken as the Nambucca River rose over the weekend, surrounding her home in water, before the floodwater eventually began to retreat.

"I am an arachnophobe from way back, so I hope they've gone back to wherever they came from," Williams said of the spiders.

Experts are telling Australians not to worry about the spiders and to leave them alone.

Lizzy Lowe, an arachnologist, told Guardian Australia that people shouldn't try to kill the spiders since they are a vital part of the ecosystem.

"They're very, very good insect hunters, so if you got rid of all the spiders, you would be plagued by insects," Lowe said. "We should be worrying about saving the spiders as much as we're worried about saving the koalas."

Dieter Hochuli, a professor who leads the University of Sydney's integrative ecology group, told Australia's ABC News that just like humans, spiders are trying to survive the flooding.

He said humans shouldn't be worried about the large numbers they're being spotted in. It's only surprising because these spiders live in fields where they aren't normally seen, he said.

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