If you don't like spiders, look away now. Arachnids cast huge webs across flooded areas in Australia

Gaby Leslie

As thousands of residents evacuate flood-hit towns in Australia, spiders have had no choice but to spin huge webs in a bid to save themselves from rising floods waters.

Flood-ravaged Wagga Wagga, in New South Wales, looked distinctly eerie after the eight-legged creatures weaved their way to drier spots on higher ground.

Hanging from trees and bushes, the ghostly cobwebs transformed what were once green spaces after the River Murrumbidgee burst its banks.

[Related story: Hundreds more evacuated in Australia floods]

Their fevered activity is what is known as ballooning, according to Graham Milledge, The Australian Museum's entomology collections manager.

He told news.com.au: “They often do it as a way of dispersing and getting into a new area. In an event like this, they are just trying to escape the floods.”