Most people have heard the statistic that human beings eat an average of eight spiders a year while they sleep. Even accounting for aboriginal people who are likely to sleep in spider-heavy areas and how they’d skew the numbers… it’s false. It’s a myth, and there are reasons that it can be declared such. Scientific American has an excellent article on the subject.
That said, the fact that spiders are exceedingly unlikely to crawl into your mouth doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t find their way into other orifices. The best reasons that none of us have encountered that are actually fairly straightforward. Many spiders don’t like to wander far from their webs. Many others are not suited to indoor living. Of the species that do wander in search of prey and can live indoors, many are simply too large to fit into the tiny holes on a human body.
So, it’s very rare… but it can happen. About once or twice a year, a doctor somewhere in the world will deal with a spider in someone’s ear. The odds are better that someone will win the lottery, but this type of luck is really not desired.
A woman in Kansas City, Missouri proved this last week when she went to the doctor to deal with water in her ear. She wasn’t certain how the water had gotten in there, but it was obviously there in the morning and it was uncomfortable. The medical assistant who looked into her ear quickly left the room to get help, and a doctor proceeded to pull a small spider free of her ear canal.
Thankfully, most American spiders are not dangerously venomous. Of native species, the black widow and the brown recluse are dangerous to humans. This is where the woman, Susie Torres, hit the bad luck lotto again… it was a brown recluse. In a stroke of good fortune, it did not bite her.
Her response to all of this? She has a new bedtime routine.
“I went and put some cotton balls in my ear last night, because I did not have any ear plugs,” said Torres. “I’m pretty terrified of spiders.”KSHB
Question of the night: How are you with spiders?