Man Reportedly 'Violated' by Spider in the Most Horrific Way

spiderJust in time for Halloween I have what must be the scariest story about spiders since ... oh wait, didn't we just hear about that house that was "bleeding" spiders a few days ago? Well, this is just as horrible: A man vacationing in Bali says doctors discovered a spider burrowed under his skin -- where it lived for three days before it was removed. And we haven't even told you what the spider did while it was under this man's skin.

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Oh, you're still reading? You must be brave! Okay, here's what happened. Australian Dylan Thomas (not to be confused with the Welsh poet) was vacationing in Bali when he discovered a red trail starting two inches from his navel and leading up to his belly. "It was like someone had scratched me with a knife," he later said.

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According to Thomas, the trail grew by another couple inches by the evening. Doctors told him it was a bug bite and gave him some antihistamine.

It got worse: The next morning the trail sprouted blisters.

Finally, Thomas says, he saw a dermatologist. That's when doctors discovered a spider about the size of a match head had burrowed into the scar from his recent appendectomy. He says, "I felt violated!" (By the spider.) He wanted to keep the spider, but he says doctors took it to get tested so it could be identified. That's why we don't have a photo of the critter, so ...

Hey wait a minute, a man found a SPIDER living under his skin and he didn't grab his cellphone to photograph it before doctors took it away? (He did take photos of his belly.) And why didn't anyone interview any of Thomas' doctors? Hm ...

Curious, we reached out to University of California, Riverside entomologist Rick Vetter to see how common it is for spiders to burrow underneath human skin. You will be relieved to know that THIS IS NOT TYPICAL SPIDER BEHAVIOR. Vetter expressed some skepticism over Thomas' claims based on his own research on spiders, which happen to be his specialty:

None of it makes sense from an arachnological standpoint. If it is true, I would like to see some proof of the spider. There is no reason for a spider to enter a human body, and from the size of the spider (about the size of a match head), I can't imagine any reason why it would burrow into a hole in a human body and that it could make it such a long distance pushing skin and tissue out of the way.

That's what fly maggots do, not spiders. So there you go -- this could be a hoax! And if it turns out I'm right, let's just all remember that I called it first. Okay, fine, Vetter called it first.

We're not saying Thomas fabricated this story. We'd need to hear all the facts to do that. It could be true! But I for one am glad to find out this isn't something spiders typically do, not even tropical spiders. One less thing to worry about when you book that exotic beach vacation!

Have you ever heard of a spider doing this?

 

Image © iStock.com/Alasdair Thomson

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