Monday, 1 July 2013

Odd ways of flying: Flying spiders!

If you're a spider fan I have great news for you. If you're not, you won't like this:

Most baby spiders, and many smaller species, only weigh milligrams. When you're that small the world is a very different place: Raindrops are cannon balls, a wasp is a harrier jumpjet, the Jeremy Kyle Show is mercifully incomprehensible, and a gentle breeze is a hurricane.

And, if you're a spider wanting to fly, all you have to do is spin out a flimsy silk kite.....
 
Above: Up, up and away! Don't worry, the spider is being viewed through a magnifying lens - that blade of grass is just 4 mm across. But yes, it is trying ( and succeeding) to fly some where, possibly your house...

They've been found five kilometres into the sky, have come down on ships sixteen hundred kilometres form land, and can travel for weeks like this.

But spiders dropping out of the sky and onto your head isn't the worrying bit.

The worrying bit is that some species will balloon en-mass to get away from flood waters.

And this is what happened to the Australian town of Wagga-wagga when it flooded......