You know what’s more terrifying than spiders creeping into your home in the middle of the night? Spiders in the freaking skies, man.
The Guardian on Friday reported recent accounts of such an occurrence in Brazil, where people have reportedly claimed it’s “raining spiders.” A video recently shared to Facebook of the phenomenon in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais appears to show hundreds of spiders suspended in the air—like something straight out your worst arachnid nightmares.
The video was reportedly filmed by 14-year-old João Pedro Martinelli Fonseca, according to local news outlet Terra do Mandu. Dona Jercina Martinelli, the teen’s grandmother, told the site that there were “a lot more webs and thousands of spiders than it appears in the video,” per an English translation.
Terrifying as it may be, this is evidently something that is common of the species parawixia bistriata and occurs during hotter, humid times of the year, according to the Guardian, citing Federal University of Minas Gerais professor and arachnology specialist Adalberto Santos. These arachnids are reportedly social creatures who band together to make one massive web that they use to catch food. As for reports of “flying” spiders, that may be the result of behavior referred to as ballooning, Terra do Mandu reported.
Some spiders use ballooning to catch gusts of wind and surf the skies; watching teeny, tiny crab spiders do this is actually pretty freaking awesome (even if their presence in the skies is, you know, not). And reader, while I am very sorry to have to tell you, these are hardly the only spiders that “fly.” In fact, these creatures are quite enterprising; spiders can even sail for god’s sake.
Speaking with Gizmodo about flying crab spiders last year, Cheryl Hayashi, a spider biologist at the American Museum of Natural History, said that witnessing this phenomenon “gives you a deeper appreciation for how spiders have evolved to do this feat—they’re literally sailing through the air.”
Incredible evolutionary achievement notwithstanding, any of us would be forgiven for being creeped the hell out by airborne spiders.