Yeah, but was it a radioactive spider?

Three boys in Bolivia found a black widow spider.

“Thinking it would give them superhero powers, they prodded it with a stick until it bit each of them in turn,” the official, Virgilio Pietro, said.

The boy’s mom found them crying, so she rushed the siblings to a nearby health center, which transferred them to a nearby hospital, Telemundo said.

They’re fine now. They did not turn into spider-boys.

Note that they had to torture the spider to get it to bite them in the first place. Don’t do that. Don’t blame the spider. The spider knows that with great venom comes great responsibility, and that boys taste yucky.


  1. chrislawson says

    Pity that linked article goes on to exaggerate the dangers of black widow spiders. “Black Widows are one of the most feared spiders in the world and the most venomous in north America, with venom 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s, according to National Geographic, the report said.”

    That’s just the toxicity per gram of venom* and therefore has very little meaning in terms of actual danger. There have been NO deaths in the US from black widow spider bites since 1983 despite thousands of reported bites every year (partly because many bites are “dry” — the spider is just trying to scare off the human rather than eat it). By contrast, rattlesnakes kill 2-3 Americans every year. Which means rattlesnakes are not very dangerous in terms of lifetime risk per person, but are still way more dangerous than black widows.

    toxicity per gram is very difficult to assess and should be treated as a very rough estimate rather than a precise measure.