12 May 2011
EXTINCTION THREAT---YOU WILL GET A RISE OUT OF THIS ONE
Most of us get a little excited when we see a big spider, but for the unfortunate few who fall victim to the bite of the daunting Brazilian wandering spider, that “excitement” takes on a whole new meaning: The venom of the wandering spider — also known as the banana spider (or more formally Phoneutria nigriventer) causes erections in men.
“The venom of the P. nigriventer spider is a very rich mixture of several molecules,” says Dr. Kenia Nunes, a physiologist at the Medical College of Georgia who is currently studying the odd side effect. “These molecules are called toxins, and then we have various toxins in this venom with different activity. Because of this, when a human is bitten by this spider, we can observe many different symptoms including priapism, a condition in which the penis is continually erect.
According to Discover, sporting an erection is just one side effect of the spider’s venom — others include excruciating pain, difficulty breathing, and even death if the bite goes untreated.
YOU'LL KNOW HIM WHEN YOU SEE HIM
at May 12, 2011
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