Friday, March 20, 2009

Deadly - yet fun! - Brazilian spider found in US

A Brazilian Wandering Spider, considered the most deadly for having caused the most human deaths from spider bite envenomation, was found in a shipment of bananas from Brazil - whoops, Honduras - at a Tulsa, Oklahoma Whole Foods store. An astute - and in retrospect, very lucky - employee captured the spider in a jar and turned it over to bug nerds who identified it. Oh yeah, the fun part:
Oddly, the Brazilian spider delivers more than a painful bite that sends most victims to the hospital. Researchers have found its venom also stimulates an hours-long erection in men.

[ ... ]

"The erection is a side effect that everybody who gets stung by this spider will experience along with the pain and discomfort," said study team member Romulo Leite of the Medical College of Georgia, presumably speaking only about male bite victims. "We're hoping eventually this will end up in the development of real drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction."
In a cruel twist of irony, however, women bitten by the spider end up with an hours-long headache.

OK, I might have made up that last part.

(Yes, Kris, I put up that picture just for you.)

Update: FOX News updated their article later in the day, and some other bug nerd disputes a couple of things, namely that the Brazilian Wandering Spider is the deadliest and that the spider in question was even one of them:
But a Tulsa Zoo official disputed the findings, saying his analysis through video and photos he'd seen led him to believe that it was a Huntsman spider — which is harmless to humans.

[ ... ]

In addition, Downer and Grantham disagreed with Childs' characterization of the danger of a Brazilian wandering spider.

Death from its bite is rare, and only victims with compromised immune systems, such as babies or older people, would be at risk, they said.
But according to Wikipedia:
The Brazilian wandering spiders appear in Guinness World Records 2007 as the world's most venomous spiders, and are considered to be responsible for the most human deaths due to envenomation from spider bites.
And the debate rages on.


Kris said...

You suck. You know that, right?



Charles said...

We'll never know what kind of spider that was - the idiots destroyed it.