Three boys in Bolivia learned the hard way that with great power comes fevers, tremors, and muscle pains as they tried to inherit the powers of Spider-Man by letting a black widow spider bite them. The boys aged 8, 10, and 12 fortunately didn’t succumb to the unfortunate incident and were released from hospital a week later, sadly sans superpowers.
According to a report from Ministry of Health officials, the three boys from Chayanta, Bolivia, were herding goats when eight-legged inspiration struck as they discovered a spider whose black and red markings reminded them of the superhero. Spurred on by the allure of spidey senses, the ability to climb walls, and shoot webs, they decided to try and make the spider bite them so they could be like the famed hero. Unaware of the creature’s potent venom, they decided to poke the spider with a stick in an attempt to goad it into biting them. The angry black widow took the bait and bit all three boys who were later found crying by their mother.
She rushed the boys to a nearby health center where, as no medications seemed to be improving their condition, it was decided they should be transferred to hospital. By the time they reached the Children’s Hospital in La Paz they were experiencing fevers, tremors, and muscle pains. After a week of treatment, the boys were eventually discharged from the hospital and sent home to recover from their less than Marvel-ous adventure.
According to a post on Telemundo, the officials reported the incident as a lesson for parents to "be careful" because "for children everything is real, movies are real, dreams can be real, and they are the illusion of our lifetime."
While highly dangerous with venom 15 times more powerful than that of a rattlesnake, black widow spiders will only bite when they feel threatened. They are perfectly safe if left well alone but goading them with a stick will probably end unfavorably for you. If bitten, most healthy adults will feel unwell and experience some pain but eventually recover. However, for young children as well as the elderly or those with health problems the bite can sometimes prove fatal.
As much as we’d all like to swing, climb, and predict future events like our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, there’s unfortunately no scientific evidence that getting bitten by spiders, or any other animals for that matter, does much beyond risking pain, sickness, and infection. However, if the first result in Google is to be believed, we might be closer to sharing a spidey sense than we realized…