One Tarantula That Can Actually Kill You
For the most part tarantulas may look scary, what with their large size, hairy body, and just general terrifying-ness. But most of them are pretty harmless to humans. Many people even like to have them as pets. There is one tarantula out there, though, that is just as dangerous as it looks and packs one heck of a mean bite. It goes by many names, such as the Indian ornamental tree spider, the regal parachute spider, or the fringed ornamental spider, because I guess scientists simply can’t decide what to call this giant, hairy monster. But to make things a bit simpler, I would just stay away from any tarantula species with the Latin name Poecilotheria. It might just save your life.
The true irony lies in its extreme popularity as a pet for those spider lovers out there. For a tarantula, the Poecilotheria is quite a striking and beautiful arachnid. They can have a leg span of up to 6 inches, and are covered in brilliant blue, yellow, white, and brown markings. It also happens to be one of the most dangerous and venomous spiders on Earth.
One poor man discovered this the hard way after being bitten by one of his nine pet spiders. Now, it’s pretty unlikely that a tarantula will bite a person at all. First of all, their fangs point downward, which means they need to get right up close and personal on top of your finger or other body part in order to sink their fangs into you. Most dangerous spiders have more pincer-like fangs, which gives them a bit more room and agility to bite you. Tarantulas also will only bite someone if they are severely provoked. Basically, you have to stick your finger right in its mouth, causing them to mistake your digit for any other regular prey.
Most tarantula bites aren’t any worse than being stung by a bee. When the man was first bitten by his pet spider he didn’t really think much of it, as it was just slightly red with a bit of swelling and pretty much painless. Fast forward two hours and he began sweating and having hot flashes. After 15 hours he was experiencing such severe muscle cramps that he had to go to the hospital. Soon after came the chest pains. Thankfully, the doctors at the hospital were able to save his life and treat the excruciating symptoms. But that bite didn’t just let him go that easily. He still had to deal with painful muscle cramps for the next three weeks.
Do you or someone you know have a pet tarantula? Have you or they ever been bitten?