Monday, 10 January 2011


I've just spent half an hour looking at deadly Australian spiders on Wikipedia. Because now would be a very good time to stop being the person who does not venture into the garden shed for two years after seeing a massive spider through the window, or gets a neighbour to help set free another huge spider trapped under a bowl. Time to de-sensitize myself.

Sadly, I cannot help it that spiders look like the personification of evil. That's a Black House Spider. Wikipedia casually remarks that they're widely distributed throughout Australia, kind of implying that they're a bit like dishwashers and no home is really complete without one. Fortunately they're not considered dangerous or anything, but their bites are excruciatingly painful. Well, that's alright then. It's Latin name is Badumna Insignis, which sounds a bit like a satanic cult.

Then there's the Redback spider. The image of this would not upload, probably because they are so evil that they don't show up on blogs. Apparently they are one of the few arachnids to engage in sexual cannibalism. They also look a little bit like supervillains. See, I try not to be afraid of spiders, but it's very hard not to be a little bit trembly and scared at the thought of sexual cannibalism.

Then there's the huntsman spider which is, to put it politely, fucking enormous. Wikipedia is full of reassuring information, as huntsman spiders are apparently not deadly, and you'll be ok in about two days, but if you get bitten by a 'Badge Huntsman' you might suffer nausea, headache, vomiting, and heart palpitations.

Some of the deadliest spiders in the world, found all around suburban Sydney. Their hobbies include killing children, showing up in your friendly local swimming pool, and killing some more children. First there's pain, then goosebumps, sweating, tingling, twitching, salivation, eye-watering, increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, writhing, muscle spasm, unconsciousness, then death. Sounds like a typical afternoon.
Luckily there's an antivenom, so as long as you seek immediate medical attention you actually just have a couple of days in hospital and don't die. Damn, I am not going to sleep tonight. The most important thing I have to remember is always check your shoes for deadly spiders before putting them on. In the meantime, LOOK A KOALA:


Jane said...

December 14, 2002

A KOALA has attacked an Adelaide woman at her home and inflicted injuries - including ripping an ear - requiring surgery.

The koala attacked Danielle Williams in the yard of her home at Aberfoyle Park in Adelaide's southern suburbs about 11pm on Thursday.

She was taken to Flinders Medical Centre and will need an operation to repair an ear.

Mrs Williams' husband Glenn said the attack was unprovoked. "Danielle was in our back yard and [the koala] just came down out of a tree and went for her," Mr Williams said.

"It cut her ear in two. It was like someone had cut it with a surgical knife.

"Everyone pictures koalas as being cute and cuddly, but not all of them are - especially those that are in the wild."


Anne said...

Spiders, ear-biting Koalas, floods, crocodiles, sharks, heatstroke, deadly jellyfish, mosquitoes carrying Red Ross fever...

Fortunately I don't know the meaning of the word 'fear.'

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