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Spiders Flee Australian Flood

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Earlier this month, eastern Australia endured days of torrential rains that flooded large parts of New South Wales, causing an estimated $530 million in damage to homes, bridges, and farms. Covering the flood near the town of Wagga Wagga, Reuters photographer Daniel Munoz came across a large area draped in spider silk. Thousands of spiders were fleeing the rising waters, many of them trailing behind massive amounts of dragline silk. The webs tangled over weeds, trees, fences, and fields, creating a surreal and eerie landscape crawling with arachnids. Residents reportedly complained of being unable to walk in certain areas without swarms of little spiders crawling up their legs, seeking higher ground. [20 photos]

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A barbed-wire fence is covered in spiderwebs, formed as spiders escape from flood waters, in Wagga Wagga, Australia, on March 7, 2012. The Murrumbidgee river slowly receded after reaching 10.56 m (34 feet) on March 6. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz)
A barbed-wire fence is covered in spiderwebs, formed as spiders escape from flood waters, in Wagga Wagga, Australia, on March 7, 2012. The Murrumbidgee river slowly receded after reaching 10.56 m (34 feet) on March 6. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz)
Flooding in the New South Wales town of Wagga Wagga, on March 5, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
Wild plants are covered with spiderwebs near flooding in Wagga Wagga, on March 7, 2012. Thousands of spiders have cast eerie webs over vast areas of flood-hit Australia after being forced to seek shelter by the rising waters. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
Local residents look at a road submerged in floodwaters near Wagga Wagga, on March 6, 2012. Floods across eastern Australia forced more than 13,000 people to evacuate their homes after record-high summer rains drenched three states over the past week, swelling rivers and forcing dams to overflow. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
A house is surrounded by spiderwebs next to floodwaters in Wagga Wagga, on March 6, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
Spiders climb over webbing on a bush in Wagga Wagga, on March 6, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
A woman walks her dogs through spiderwebs, formed as spiders escape from floodwaters, in Wagga Wagga, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
A spider sits on a fence covered with spiderwebs near flooding in Wagga Wagga, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
Wild plants are covered in spiderwebs in Wagga Wagga, Australia, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
A barbed-wire fence is covered in spiderwebs, as spiders escape from rising floodwaters in Wagga Wagga, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
A snake swims through floodwaters near the town of Forbes, about 300 km (186 miles) west of Sydney March 8, 2012. (Reuters/Anita Redfern) #
Wild plants, covered in spiderwebs in flooded Wagga Wagga, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
A field covered in spiderwebs in Wagga Wagga, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
Spiders crawl through spider silk tangled over wild plants in Wagga Wagga, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
A field covered in spiderwebs next to flood waters in Wagga Wagga, on March 6, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
A dog walks through spiderwebs in Wagga Wagga, on March 6, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
Spiders flee floodwaters in Wagga Wagga, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
Spiders crawl through huge tangles of dragline silk in Wagga Wagga, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
Spiders escape floodwaters, in Wagga Wagga, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #
A spider walks on top of a web-covered strand of barbed-wire fence, trailing even more silk behind it, as it flees from rising water in Wagga Wagga, Australia, on March 7, 2012. (Reuters/Daniel Munoz) #

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