World's Deadliest Spider Found in Whole Foods Produce
Friday, March 20, 2009
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TULSA, Okla. â€” One of the most deadly spiders in the world has been found in the produce section of a Tulsa grocery store. An employee of Whole Foods Market found the Brazilian Wandering Spider Sunday in bananas from Honduras and managed to catch it in a container.
The spider was given to University of Tulsa Animal Facilities director Terry Childs who said this type of spider kills more people than any other.
Childs said a bite will kill a person in about 25 minutes and while there is an antidote he doesn't know of any in the Tulsa area.
Spiders often are found in imported produce, and a manager at Whole Foods says the store regularly checks its goods and that's how the spider was found.
Oddly, the Brazilian spider delivers more than a painful bite that sends most victims to the hospital. Researchers have found its venom also stimulates an hours-long erection in men.
Patients not only experience overall pain and an increase in blood pressure, they also sport an uncomfortable erection.
In Brazil, emergency room staff can immediately spot the victims of a bite.
"The erection is a side effect that everybody who gets stung by this spider will experience along with the pain and discomfort," said study team member Romulo Leite of the Medical College of Georgia, presumably speaking only about male bite victims. "We're hoping eventually this will end up in the development of real drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.