Following the heavy rain and subsequent flooding in Victoria, remarkable spiderwebs have appeared in parts of the state.
Victoria has been lashed by wind gusts of up to 125km/h and heavy rainfall since Wednesday night. Two people have died in the dangerous conditions.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp confirmed on Monday 98 homes to date had been deemed uninhabitable, with 84 significantly damaged.
Despite the inclement weather, with more expected on the state's east coast this week, people on social media are marvelling at the spiderwebs seen following the rain in the Gippsland region.
Wellington Shire councillor Carolyn Crossley shared a stunning video to Facebook of fine spiderwebs "billowing in the breeze", saying she "couldn't resist" doing so.
One person remarked the footage was "amazing and unreal".
"Absolutely remarkable. Thank you for sharing," another person said.
"How wondrous it is that these tiny creatures get the message they need to escape the danger."
On the Australian spider identification page on Facebook, one man was seeking to identify the spiders seemingly responsible for the blanketing between Sale and Longford, following the flooding in Gippsland.
He said there were "nice red ones and swarms of smaller black ones". He also shared a picture of the black spiders swarming a post, with the web spreading across metres of grass.
Someone in the comments identified the red spider as a Ambicodamus crinitus, also appropriately known as Red and Black Spider, however they're not dangerous.
"Despite the red colour of this spider its venom is not dangerous. At most, it may cause a local reaction around the bite site," Victoria's Department of Education notes on Ecolinc.
"That is an absolutely beautiful sight, but also completely terrifying," someone said in the comments.
More photos of the webs appeared on Reddit, where people were also horrified.
"Thank you for the nightmares. Also good luck," someone said on Reddit.
"Australia delivers. Not any kind of package you want to sign for, but it delivers nonetheless," another said.
How to deal with spiders after a flood
Following the flooding in NSW earlier this year and spiders crawling their way into homes, University of Queensland’s Associate Professor David Merritt told Yahoo News Australia spiders would usually do what they could to escape the water.
In March this year in NSW, spiders were headed towards people's homes. Prof Merritt explained this was because they were searching for higher ground.
“I’d say just leave them alone and let nature take its course,” he said.
“I would hate to think anyone would spray insecticide on them or that sort of thing.
"They’ve only come into houses and human made structures because they’ve been forced to, so give them a bit of time and they’ll disperse back into their natural environment.”
BetterHealth Victoria also warns after a flooding event wild animals like rodents, snakes or spiders could be trapped in or around your home, urging people to be careful and wear waterproof boots and rubber or leather gloves.
Victoria's health department reiterated spiders are an "important" part of the environment and, if possible, they should be left alone.
"The only spider in Victoria to have caused any human deaths is the redback spider," VicHealth notes on a page dedicated to pest control.
"However, no deaths have been recorded since [antivenin] was first produced in 1956."
On Sunday, the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) said more than 9000 calls were made during the recent weather event, making it the busiest week on record.
"The most common requests for assistance have been related to trees down, building damage, and flooding. In the last 24 hours, the busiest VICSES units have been Lilydale, Emerald, and Maroondah," VICSES said.
"The situation in Gippsland has eased, but the impact is still being felt as recovery is underway."
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