Was An Erection-Causing Venomous Spider Really Found In A German Shipping Container?


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer

P. fera, a species of Brazilian wandering spider found in Ecuador. Dr Morely Read/Shutterstock

Brazilian wandering spiders are unpleasant and fascinating critters. Arachnids within this genus can grow to have a leg span of 15 centimeters (5.9 inches), and they’re quite aggressive.

If you’re bitten by one, its venom stands a good chance of putting you in hospital and, on occasion, six feet under. There’s also a good chance that during this deadly procedure, if you’re male, you will also get an unwelcome and extremely painful erection.


It lasts for so long that it can cause lasting damage, erectile dysfunction, and impotence. That’s why, during a recent encounter with one, 10 firefighters covered themselves from head to toe in protective gear just in case they were bitten.

A species of Brazilian wandering spider was found hiding inside a shipping container in Bremerhaven, Germany. The emergency services were called after it was spotted during a routine customs inspection, and, not willing to risk its escape, the firefighters flooded the container with carbon dioxide from a fire extinguisher in order to kill it.

Or so it seems. This story can’t be verified, and so far, it’s only appearing in some fairly unreliable tabloids. So watch this space for now.

Still, the spiders themselves are certainly real, and they’re certainly not the sort of monster you’d ever want to bump into.


This creepy crawly has often been referred to as the world’s deadliest spider on account of its extremely potent venom, but due to the effectiveness of available anti-venoms, few people have actually been killed by one.

They tend to be found in tropical South and Central America, where they prey on insects, frogs, and lizards. Their venom, when administered via a bite, causes fatal paralysis in their tasty victims. There are eight known species within the genus Phoneutria, whose name derives from the Greek word for “murderess.”

[H/T: Metro]


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