Man finds world's most venomous spider in a bunch of bananas he bought at the supermarket
A lot of us are trying to be better humans and make less of an impact on our lovely and fruitful planet, and part of that means eating more sustainably. Eating meat turns out to be incredibly bad for the environment, mainly because it has such a large water footprint – it's estimated that it takes over 1,000 gallons of water to produce a single steak.
But for those people who don't like the idea of going vegetarian, another option seems to be coming into the mainstream mindset (and some select supermarket shelves) – eating bugs. And for this British guy, he almost began his insect-eating lifestyle – but luckily it was only almost.
Neil Langley, a 53-year-old office worker from the UK, was shocked to find a huge spider peeking out from between the bananas he'd bagged up and bought the day before. What turned out to be even more frightful was the fact that this was an exotic spider known only in parts of Central America, and it happens to be what's widely accepted as the most venomous spider in the world – a Brazilian wandering spider.
"I bought a bunch of four or five bananas at the ASDA and put them in a bag but I didn’t notice the spider until I was at my desk the next day," Neil said.
"It was in one of the clear bags you use for fruit and it must have just woken up.
"I was lucky it hadn’t crawled out at home or in my work bag."
Neil said that he first saw it out the corner of his eye and when looking closely at the critter, he realised that it was too big and an unfamiliar colour to anything he'd ever seen in Britain before. He managed to put it in a plastic bag and together with his equally-intrigued/terror-stricken coworkers, talked about what to do with it.
"I didn’t really think that it was threatening, but some of my colleagues started to get a bit concerned about it," Neil recalled. "We weren’t sure what to do with it. We’re on the sixth floor, so it’s hard to know how to get rid of that sort of thing. At one stage we discussed flushing it down the toilet, but that seemed a bit unfair on the poor thing."
In the end, they called the RSPCA to try and identify what kind of spider it was. They were able to confirm that it was a Brazilian wandering spider, also known as the armed spider, which is known for its potent neurotoxin that is able to kill humans. One bite will have you lose control of your muscles, struggle to breathe, feel intense pain and – oddly enough – get an uncomfortable erection that lasts for hours if you're a man.
So what does one do with a specimen of this kind that one found in their bananas?
"Eventually a colleague who is an animal lover put it in a cereal box and gave it to the RSPCA, who took it away," Neil said. "It must have made a difference to the cats and dogs they usually get called out to."
Now, the spider has a nice new home at the Bristol Zoo.