A mum posted to Facebook, asking what the strange sacs were. Picture: Facebook
A mum posted to Facebook, asking what the strange sacs were. Picture: Facebook

‘Sinister’ backyard find terrifies parents

A SYDNEY mum was confronted with a scene out of a science-fiction movie when she spotted a collection of mysterious "pods" hanging from a tree in her neighbour's backyard.

The woman posted to a northern beaches Facebook group, asking for help identifying the large sacs, as she was worried they looked rather "sinister".

"At the risk of looking like I have no idea (well I don't), anyone know what these dangling things might be from the tree next door?" the woman wrote.

She also posted a series of photographs of the unidentified sacs to help illustrate her point.

 

A Sydney woman wanted to know what was hanging in her neighbour’s trees. Picture: Facebook
A Sydney woman wanted to know what was hanging in her neighbour’s trees. Picture: Facebook

 

According to the woman, the pods appeared to have "spider webs around them".

"Wondering if it's something a little sinister," she wrote.

"It's hanging from next door's tree close to our trampoline so (I) was a little worried!"

Locals jumped to help identify the pods, explaining they were the work of magnificent spiders, or bolas spiders.

 

The unusual looking bolas spider spins silken egg sacs for its young.
The unusual looking bolas spider spins silken egg sacs for its young.

 

One woman said the spider species was "super cool".

"When the eggs hatch, the baby spiders parachute down with little parachute webs!" she wrote.

The mumdidn't like the thought of that though.

"Oh god, all I can see are parachuting spiders gliding down onto the trampoline now!" she wrote.

According to the Australian Plants Society NSW, magnificent spiders "pose no threat to humans".

They also explain that the "spindle-shaped egg sacs" are constructed over several nights and contain about 600 eggs. As many as seven sacs can be attached to a branch.

Baby spiders emerge from the egg sacs in late winter and early spring and are "carried away by the wind".

 

Bolas spiderlings parachuting down from their cocoons.
Bolas spiderlings parachuting down from their cocoons.

 

One woman on the Facebook group likened the hatchlings parachuting to the story of Charlotte's Web.

"My fav story as a kid! Her babies all hatched and parachuted down, I always thought that was so cool!" she wrote.

 

Magnificent spider babies parachute to earth, just like the 2005 film Charlotte's Web.
Magnificent spider babies parachute to earth, just like the 2005 film Charlotte's Web.

But not everyone on the Facebook group was a fan of the spider sacs or their escape method.

"Millions of parachuting little spiders … hmm, can they be re-homed in the bush?" one woman asked.

Another woman warned the mum to "leave the country now … and don't look back", while another posted a photograph of a can of Mortein spider spray, claiming several hundred eggs, multiplied by four egg sacs, was "too many spiders" for her to handle.

What do you think of these massive spider sacs? Tell us below.

The four large, pod-shaped objects seem to hang from a thin thread from a tree branch. Picture: Facebook
The four large, pod-shaped objects seem to hang from a thin thread from a tree branch. Picture: Facebook


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