Friday, October 1, 2010

O. M. G.

I've always felt ashamed of being an acrachnophobe, but having just finished reading a piece on the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer) I feel that all my fears may have been justified. Not only is its bite excruciatingly painful, but the venom has also been found to cause increased levels of nitric oxide. What does that do? Well, if you're a dude, it can give you an involuntary erection that is both painful and long-lasting. Ouchy! However, unpleasant though this erection might be, you'd better enjoy it while you can because it might be your last; the venom can also leave you impotent. By grateful that humans are big animals. Lab mice injected with Phoneutria venom "experienced intense penile erections before succumbing to the toxin." That is a bad way to go.

I've never encountered a Brazilian wandering spider, thank God, but I already hate them. I plan on contacting Jeff MacMahan to suggest that the whole genus be wiped from the face of the planet for causing intolerable suffering to other species. And especially the males of other species.

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