Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Horrifying Tuesday: Sydney Funnel-Web Spider

Ah, it's that time of the week again! The sky's shining, the air's crisp, and children play in the fall leaves, what else could be added to that equation to make a better day? You know where this is leading, Horrifying Tuesday! Today, we're going to talk about one of the most deadliest and aggressive spiders known to man, the Sydney Funnel-Web Spider. So yeah, if you're a little jumpy around spiders, you should probably close this page and turn on your TV to watch some children cartoons.

While you're at it, why don't go you knitting or something?

The Sydney funnel-web spiders are  medium to large in size, (in spider terms) which honestly doesn't matter due to the fact that you'll find yourself in the fetal position regardless of their size. The spiders are usually glossy dark, ranging from dark blueberry to dark apricot colors. Thanks to nature, the spiders are practically hairless, which allows the spider to come off with the famed black glossy finish on its body. Just like a well-waxed head, without the lethal venom thing though.

These spiders commonly create burrow-retreats in which the entrance appears to look like a "funnel" due to the amount of webbing that the spider usually creates. Instead of making some type of lame floating web between a few branches or corners, these spiders prefer to make their homes in small burrows in which they fill up with web to make a tube-shapes.

The arrow indicates where hell begins.

So other than making creepy-circle-webs, what else is so "horrifying" about them? For one, they contain a venom called delta atracotoxin, which symptoms are predictable from their neurotoxic reactions to the body. That's right, neurotoxic. That's gotta mean something bad, and you're right, it does. After being bitten by one of these spiders, you can expect muscle spasms, weakness, hypertension, unconsciousness, excessive secretions, standing hair, tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmias, and possible death depending on how lucky you are. Doesn't sound like a afternoon brunch, does it?

Unless this is how you spend your afternoons.

Hold on a second, I've heard this story before, first, the animal/insect is some type of super-beast that can kill anyone at touch- except it has a extremely vital flaw that prevents it from doing such, such as short fangs or shyness from humans. Well worry not, there will be no "exceptions" with this spider, what you see is what you get.

These spiders are considered one of the most aggressive spiders known on earth. If you spot one of these spiders and start buffing out your chest as you physically threaten the spider with multiple chest bumps, the spider won't back down and run home to his web like other spiders. The male spiders that commonly leave their homes during the summer to find mates, also carry the most venom and are likely to use it. It's been said that when this spider bites someone, it makes sure to inject the entire load of venom in one shot, but even after that, it'll probably sit there and bite you a few hundred more times before they leave you alone. It's like what they say, they'll over-kill you.

"I will fight you, forever."

To put the icing on the cake, these spiders are known to be one of the few spiders in the world that have actually killed someone from their fatal bites. Ignoring the fact that you would be bitten a few hundred times with large fangs (Large fangs? Refer to the image above for miraculously large fangs.), the venom has been known to kill people in as little as 15 minutes. The venom is capable of reaching your circulatory in as little as two minutes, thus rapidly spreading the venom around your body. As you can see, this isn't stuff you would find in chocolate milk.

Of course not. Giant super-companies always have your best interest in mind.

Thankfully today, an antivenom was developed in 1980, and there have yet to be another recorded "murder" from these spiders. However, without treatment, you could die in as little as 15 minutes to three days after the bite. For children, they usually die early due to pulmonary edema, while adults usually die later on due to hypertension. Even with a antivenom, the aggressiveness and the relatively short amount of time it takes for a person to die, you might just be the next recorded case.

Until then, you can only keep your fingers crossed.