Texas – Flying spiders. Texans seem to be very curious if they exist, according to Google.
KSAT did some digging and it turns out this phenomenon of seemingly flight-happy spiders is actually an extremely common practice known as ballooning, according to National Geographic.
When a spider balloons, it releases a sail-like trail of silk that will lift it up and carry it off in the wind. “In some cases, they drop just a few feet from their takeoff site; in others, they get caught in jet streams that take them across oceans,” according to National Geographic.
While there haven’t been any reports of flying spiders in Texas recently, NBCDFW published an article in October 2017 showing video of spiders ballooning across sky.
The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension cited spiders’ ability to balloon as a species survival tactic. “The ability to travel and disperse is a requirement for success in both the plant and animal world. Animals that want to succeed must have the ability to discover new habitats and new lands. Spiders, with their short legs, would seem to be at a disadvantage in the distance travel game, except for one trick," according to Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.
Spiders use their hairy legs to test wind speeds before releasing their trail of silk, aerodynamics engineer Moonsung Cho discovered as he was investigating the ballooning phenomenon.