A Canadian tourist who had been backpacking in New Zealand had a very unfortunate encounter with a venomous spider species while taking a moment to skinny dip. While the 22 year old backpacker had been skinny dipping, a katipo spider crawled into his shorts that he left of the beach. Upon returning to the beach, the man put his shorts back on before lying down to sunbath. Within moments, the spider bit the man’s genitals in a frantic effort to escape from his shorts. In only a few short minutes, the man developed a host of serious medical symptoms, such as intense chest pains, a racing heart, high blood pressure and severe penile swelling. The man immediately reported to the emergency room where Dr. Nigel Harris examined his injury. Dr. Harris later described this rare case in the New Zealand Medical Journal.
According to Dr. Harris, the nasty and unfortunately placed bite had caused the patient’s genitals to swell and a red mark indicating a spider bite was clearly present on the patient’s penis. After the patient arrived to the ER, he began to experience muscle pains, fever, headache, light sensitivity and vomiting. After being treated with antivenom, the patient’s condition improved, but he remained in the hospital for a period of 16 days in order for doctors to track his progress.
The spider that bit the man, the katipo spider, is an endangered species in New Zealand and it is closely related to the black widow spider. Sustaining a bite from this species is incredibly rare. In cases where humans have sustained a bite from the katipo spider, deaths almost never result, but two fatalities were documented during the 1800s. The bite victim would probably have wanted to squish the spider culprit, but given the spider’s endangered status, killing specimens of this species is illegal in New Zealand.
Have you ever sustained a spider bite to a particularly sensitive body part?