July 13, 2011

Beware the bananas

The staff of this blog never rests in its quest for the most interesting and relevant news stories around the world. Today's post is only the latest example.

The German paper Spiegel reports the following:

It is a nightmare scenario for any supermarket. Last Friday morning, as an employee was unloading bananas from a crate in a large grocery store in south-western Germany, a large, greyish, hairy spider about 13 centimeters long jumped out and scuttled under a shelf.

The member of staff checked the Internet for images of spiders resembling the one he had just seen, and was shocked when he found a match: a Brazilian Wandering Spider (Phoneutria nigriventer), billed as one of the world's most venomous and aggressive spiders.

(For freedom lovers, 13 centimeters is over 5 inches.)

Despite a major spider-hunt, the critter in question has not been found. Spiegel continues:

Anyone encountering it should be very careful. Amy Stewart, the author of "Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects," cites the Brazilian Wandering Spider as one of her top five worst bugs. A bite doesn't just cause severe pain, but also leads to breathing problems, paralysis and even death.

That isn't all. Stewart writes that the creature is fearless and so aggressive that it will stand on its hind legs, prepared to take on any challenger, however big.

(Spiegel is too delicate to add that the spider's bite has bizarre, unpleasant and seemingly opposite effects on the unmentionable parts of human males.)

All of this is to say, be cautious around bananas.

I ask again, is this a full service blog or what?

BUDGET BLOWHARDS discussed here.

OH GOOD. WV Senator Joe Manchin gets Koch brothers money.


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