Ever get the feeling that something lying around your house could be worth something?

The road to riches doesn’t often play out like an episode of "Antiques Roadshow" — but sometimes you find a different kind of wealth hiding in unexpected places.

In recent years, people have been taking pictures of the creepy-crawlies they come across and posting them to social media — only to learn their unexpected roommate is a treasure to science.

According to New Scientist, researchers are finding a trove of new species simply by rummaging through these posts.

"When people see an animal that they think is frightening or dangerous, the most common response is to take a photo and post it to social media," Heather Campbell, a spider expert at Harper Adams University in the U.K., tells New Scientist.

That’s where researchers, who are increasingly combing Facebook forums and groups for new species, make the preliminary connection before seeking further proof of existence. (As in, can you capture it alive?)

For researchers, the social media swarm has proven invaluable. Why turn over rocks and leaves and peer into dark hollows in the wild when Facebook has every nook, cranny and shrieking shower covered? Sure, there’s an element of lord-have-mercy terror to these posts — it isn’t quite like finding your grandfather’s dusty medal from the World War I. These are living, breathing creatures. But the payoff can help our understanding of the natural world immeasurably.

The power of a photo

Campbell is part of a team that developed the Baboon Spider Atlas, a kind of map for the rare giant arachnids based on citizen sightings throughout eastern and southern Africa.

"Remarkably, we still know relatively little about our baboon spiders," the group notes on its website. "New species are still discovered, and we don’t know the true distributions of many species in the region. This is the most important information needed to fully appreciate the value and importance of these spiders, and to take effective steps to conserve them."

So far, the project has yielded as many as 30 new species of baboon spiders, as the video above explains.

But they’re not the only spiders seeing the light of scientific discovery, thanks to social media.

Back in 2008, while visiting an Australian national park, amateur photographer Stuart Harris snapped an image of a brilliant blue-and-red spider on a leaf. It wasn’t until he posted the picture to Facebook that Harris learned he had accidentally discovered a new species of peacock spider. Of course, scientists would have to verify the species by finding a live version — something that Harris managed to do later — but the seed of species discovery was planted with a picture.

"I have a real sense of worth and achievement," Harris told ABC Canberra. "It certainly gave me a personal boost, it’s high on the scale of things I’ve done in my life."