Residents of Dallas and neighboring Metroplex cities awoke this morning to find the air filled with countless sticky, silky white strands of an unknown nature. "Relax," says CBS DFW, "it’s just spiders."

In fact, while North Texas slept, spiders of an as-yet-unidentified variety invaded the Dallas-Fort Worth area and released millions of spider hatchlings to float across town in a process known as "ballooning."

"It’s fairly common this time of year to have little spiderlings emerge and send out little strands of silk from their abdomens," explains Tim Bryce of the Dallas Zoo. "Once they’re high enough, they catch in the breeze and it blows these little spiders like little balloons away to another area to help disperse them so they’re not having competition with each other in a small area."

If it's such a common occurrence, then why are these silk balloons so horrifyingly noticeable this year?

Because "the winds are so light they’re not going anywhere," says National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Cavanuagh. "They keep shooting out webs, and the wind’s not carrying them anywhere. So they do it over and over and over again, and it builds up."

That's the problem with everything being bigger in your state: It applies to spider-filed balloons, too.

[screengrab via MyFoxDFW]