Heavy rains along Australia’s east coast over the weekend caused the worst flooding in half a century in some areas. The record flooding has caused a massive exodus of animals to higher lands, reports CNN, with spiders in particular swarming to escape the flood waters.
Horrific images that have gone viral on social media show hundreds of spiders trying to get to safety. One of the more viral images was captured by Matt Lovenfosse, who saw a swarm of spiders flee the rising waters of Kinchela Creek on Monday.
“All the brown you can see are spiders trying to beat the flood waters,” he wrote, sharing the photo on Facebook yesterday.
The image has gone viral on social media, racking up more than 38,000 “shares” on Facebook alone. It also made its way onto Twitter, where many called it a “nightmare thing.”
“Horrible,” one person wrote in the comments section. “I have never seen so many spiders in my life, I thought we had spiders in California,” said another.
“It’s amazing. It’s crazy,” Lovenfosse told Guardian Australia. “The spiders have all crawled over to the house, over the fences and anything they can reach.”
It’s not just spiders he’s spotted. “The trees are full of snakes,” he says. “If you take the boat out over the paddock, they swim towards it trying to get out of the water, same with the spiders.”
Another Australian, Melanie Williams, also captured the breathtaking sight of dozens of spiders crawling on the ground.
During this time, the snakes also tried to make their way to dry ground. According to ABC News, several snakes jumped into a boat carrying NSW Fire and Rescue emergency personnel to rescue a stranded family.
“They had to remove a few spiders, a few snakes and a lot of bugs before they could get the four children and both parents back on board and get them back to safety,” said NSWFR Inspector Russell Turner.
The relentless weeklong torrential downpour drenched most of New South Wales, causing rivers to surge; swallow houses, roads, bridges and farmland. About 18,000 people have already been evacuated across New South Wales.
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