Sleep With Your Mouth Closed
Let’s talk about spiders. Spiders are terrifying. They spin threads through our nightmares, slip out of sight just as we turn out the lights, and apparently can’t stop making suicide leaps into our mouths while we sleep.
Found: North America, South America, Australia.
Size: Between 5 and 15mm
Avoid it because: The bite of the yellow sac spider can, in some cases, cause necrosis, which means it basically kills your flesh. It may be responsible for more bites than any other spider species out there.
Found: North America, Europe, the Arctic Circle. Basically everywhere.
Size: Between 1 and 3cm
Avoid it because: It literally runs after its prey, reaching a top speed of two feet per second, and its large fangs make bites pretty painful. They’re surprisingly cute, though.
Avoid it because: It’s bloody massive! It can move quickly, is fairly aggressive, and its venom can cause intense pain and extreme muscle cramps.
Found: Australia (other varieties exist all over the world)
Avoid it because: It’s one of the deadliest spiders in the world. Its super-concentrated venom can cause severe muscle pain, cramps, and spasms. Luckily medical treatment means death is extremely unlikely.
Avoid it because: Its venom is a neurotoxin that can cause muscle spasms, vomiting, and swelling of the brain. It wasn’t uncommon to die of a bite before an anti-venom was developed in 1981.
Found: The USA
Avoid it because: Its venom is necrotic, sometimes resulting in large open wounds that can require skin grafts or even amputation. It’s small, and can easily get caught inside your clothes.
Found: Africa, North America, Japan, Australia, more
Size: 2.5 – 3.5cm
Avoid it because: Its venom is twice as powerful as the black widow, which can make symptoms all the worse. Thankfully it’s not aggressive and only injects a small amount when it bites.
Found: South American, Central America
Avoid it because: It’s officially the most venomous spider in the world. A bite can cause loss of muscle control, which can result in asphyxiation, intense pain, and, in men, a prolonged, painful erection. It’s aggressive, too. Luckily an anti-venom exists.
Found: South America
Size: 25-30 cm
Avoid it because: It’s the biggest spider in the world. Look at it! But it’s actually fairly harmless, its main line of defence being irritating hairs, and its bite surprisingly feeble.
Giant Huntsman Spider
Avoid it because: It’s frickin’ huge! By leg span it takes the largest spider crown, and it can run incredibly fast to hunt its prey. It’s a killing machine! Thankfully it’s not really harmful to humans at all apart from giving us terrible night terrors.
Avoid it because: Its venom is an extremely potent neurotoxin that has the potential to kill within 15 minutes of the bite. An effective anti-venom makes death less likely, but a bite will still be incredibly unpleasant.