Residents of a small town in New South Wales, Australia have described how the sun was almost blotted out when thousands of baby spiders rained down from the sky.

In what could easily be scenes from a nightmare or a Hollywood horror movie, astonished locals feared their town of Goulburn had been invaded by the countless spiderlings as homes and gardens were "covered" with the creepy crawlies.

A file photo of Angel Hair spiderwebs covering a farm in New South Wales. Credit: Reuters

Resident Ian Watson told the Sydney Morning Herald that his house had been "abandoned and taken over by spiders".

The whole place was covered in these little black spiderlings and when I looked up at the sun it was like this tunnel of webs going up for a couple of hundred metres into the sky. It was beautiful.

Ian Watson

Whilst this terrifying experience would inevitably cause a huge panic in the UK, 'spider rain' is not uncommon across parts of Australia - and has nothing to do with precipitation.

Some species of spiders climb to the tops of plants and trees and leap off, using their web-silk as tiny parachutes often referred to as Angel Hair.

Scientists believe this migration technique - known as ballooning - has allowed arachnids to colonise every continent on Earth.