There are few things that terrify me more than spiders; I’m as big of an arachnophobe as they come. So don’t worry, you will never see an image of a spider here. And yet, I’m also somehow oddly fascinated with them—their resilience and ability to adapt, and the strength and properties of their webs . It’s almost like I think that if I absorb enough spider knowledge, I won’t be afraid anymore. If that is the case, it looks like I still have a lot to learn.

Which brings me to this unique story. Contrary to what it looks like, this Australian town is not abandoned. Humans live and work there every day, most blissfully unaware of the vast network of spiders going about their business at ground level. For the most part, the two worlds operate independently. However, earlier this month devastating floods affected the area, forcing humans and all other creatures to higher ground.

In order to escape the encroaching water, the spiders did something called “ballooning”, using pieces of webbing to lift themselves out of harm’s way, covering the town in sheets of billowing fibers in the process. The result is simultaneously horrifying and beautiful, an image I cannot shake. I’ll admit, I am glad to view it on screen from the other side of the world.

Is there something that both fascinates and terrifies you? Leave a comment below.