Human Journey

Hey Spiderman, Here’s What Really Happens When a Spider Bites You

In The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker’s well-known story feels like déjà vu all over again: Radioactive spider bites outcast teen. Powers grow. Tragedy befalls. Responsibility and heroism ensue.

But Pop Omnivore would rather look at the spider than the man. No arachnid, no matter how special or nuclear-infused, will help a person scale walls and spin webs. But what can a real spider bite do to a real human being?

To find out, we asked Dana DeRoche, an arachnid specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, which spider species have the worst—and weirdest—bite.

The Brazilian Wandering Spider
“The Brazilian wandering spider [lives] in large swaths of South America,” says DeRoche. “It’s just about as big as a tarantula, but it’s not as robust and a little less hairy. It’s the color of a mouse, and it’s very aggressive. Usually creatures try to run away from you; this one won’t. It behaves like a scorpion. A lot of poorer folks have a roof and three walls instead of four, so [the spiders] come right in. If you get bitten by one of these and you don’t go to the hospital, you’re dead. It will kill you.”

Black Widow

“Usually not fatal,” says DeRoche, “but small children, the elderly, the sick—they might have a real problem.”
With black widows, it’s usually the female that’s dangerous. They have larger venom glands than males, and more potent venom. Still, black-widow bites rarely kill, especially if medical treatment is found immediately. Typically a bite will result in severe pain, which sets in after about 20 minutes and can last for several days, though the worst of the pain is typically in the first eight to 12 hours. Cramps, dizziness, and nausea may occur. In the worst cases, the bite causes a dangerous rise in blood pressure.

The Brown Recluse

“A bite from a black widow doesn’t give you a huge sore,” says DeRoche. “But a brown recluse’s will. It makes the skin and tissue around the bite die. You usually don’t realize you’ve been bitten because it doesn’t hurt at the time, and then you see the effects. Sometimes people have to get plastic surgery. It’s usually (90 percent) not fatal.”
So even without medical treatment, the recluse’s victims tend to live, albeit with a crater-like indentation radiating from the bite mark.

Honorable Mention

Australian Redback

“It’ll bite you quick,” says DeRoche, “and it’s poisonous.”
Though redback bites haven’t killed in a person in more than 50 years, they can result in excruciating pain and intense swelling around the puncture wound. In exceptional cases—usually when the victims are very young, very old, or very sick—the bites can cause nausea, infection, and even seizures.

Of course, these are all physical changes. Are there any spiders whose bite can change your state of mind or mental capabilities?

“[Spider bites don’t have a] weird effect like if you eat mushrooms or something,” explains DeRoche, “but maybe, if you’re really sick, you might experience [delusions] with some of these. It might also be possible for some of the neurotoxins to give you continuing health problems. It may depend on where you’re bitten, or how long it takes to go to the doctor.” Putting ice on the bite can help while waiting for medical treatment, which could comprise anything from a tetanus shot to anti-venom, depending on the size and type of the spider.

– Kastalia Medrano

  • Casey

    Yes, but the spider was radio active through cross species genetics, so although that this couldnt happen, with the right testing and “Cross species Gentics” its quite possible to have an effect of energy or rush of being exited and hyper.

  • […] Hey Spiderman, Here’s What Really Happens When a Spider Bites You (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com) […]

  • Elyse

    Does a Radioactive Spider bite hurt you?

  • Haariharan

    what happen when spider bite we change to a real spiderman

  • Haariharan

    what happen when spider bite we change to a real spiderman

  • Haariharan

    What happen when spider bite

  • Haariharan

    What happen when spider bite

  • bobby

    So if Am biten by a sipder am not gonna have any super engry or shoting web?

  • bobby

    So if Am biten by a sipder am not gonna have any super engry or shoting web?

  • pradeep

    i am spiderman

  • pradeep

    i am spiderman

  • Joseph

    I think a radio active/cross specie genetic spider bite you possibly it could change your heart beat then that would affect your blood flow

  • Joseph

    I think a radio active/cross specie genetic spider bite you possibly it could change your heart beat then that would affect your blood flow

  • quinndimapilis

    how about the retro virus that came from spiders?
    Spiders have retrovirus right?

  • quinndimapilis

    how about the retro virus that came from spiders?
    Spiders have retrovirus right?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Casey, it didn’t mention anything about radioactive spiders that might give some Spiderman powers. Trust me, research “Is it Possible to Become Spiderman?” on Google. Science says it is actually possible!

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Casey, it didn’t mention anything about radioactive spiders that might give some Spiderman powers. Trust me, research “Is it Possible to Become Spiderman?” on Google. Science says it is actually possible!

  • Rabin Newar

    Spider bit me m feeling pain bt I get something
    Different m looking fast more than my frnd m nt say any one wht I do?

  • Rabin Newar

    Spider bit me m feeling pain bt I get something
    Different m looking fast more than my frnd m nt say any one wht I do?

  • Rabin Newar

    Spider bit me m feeling pain bt I get something
    Different m looking fast more than my frnd m nt say any one wht I do? Plz help me

  • Rabin Newar

    Spider bit me m feeling pain bt I get something
    Different m looking fast more than my frnd m nt say any one wht I do? Plz help me

  • Nana

    It is in fact possible to become cross-specie d with a spider as anything that you can imagine can actually become a reality. I’ve always wanted to become spider man WITHOUT the retrovirus and A spider has almost bit me 7 times and i believe that if I let the next one I see bite me I will become spider man.This is a proven fact and it’s WWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY safer than getting the retro virus since hypothetically speaking if your blood type and DNA aren’t compatible with the spider that bit you your cells will reject the spider DNA, your immune system could fight it off by more than likely it will spread throughout your whole body as an infection and will probably kill you depemding on the spider. Here’s what you can try it’s called the apathy theory: if you keep saying, writing, or thinking something will happen it is actually eventually going to happen. So here’s how it works there are 2 ways to do this A: say, I(Full birth Name) will become spider-man/ cross specie d with a spider by(specific Date or time) forever even in the after life. B: Argument form- You: I’m gonna be spider man
    Friend: No you won’t
    You: yes i will
    continue doing these for about a month or two EVERY DAY and before you know it you will be wall crawling in no time.

  • Nana

    It is in fact possible to become cross-specie d with a spider as anything that you can imagine can actually become a reality. I’ve always wanted to become spider man WITHOUT the retrovirus and A spider has almost bit me 7 times and i believe that if I let the next one I see bite me I will become spider man.This is a proven fact and it’s WWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY safer than getting the retro virus since hypothetically speaking if your blood type and DNA aren’t compatible with the spider that bit you your cells will reject the spider DNA, your immune system could fight it off by more than likely it will spread throughout your whole body as an infection and will probably kill you depemding on the spider. Here’s what you can try it’s called the apathy theory: if you keep saying, writing, or thinking something will happen it is actually eventually going to happen. So here’s how it works there are 2 ways to do this A: say, I(Full birth Name) will become spider-man/ cross specie d with a spider by(specific Date or time) forever even in the after life. B: Argument form- You: I’m gonna be spider man
    Friend: No you won’t
    You: yes i will
    continue doing these for about a month or two EVERY DAY and before you know it you will be wall crawling in no time.

  • Spider-man

    A spider from a cross species is different from a radio active spider. If you were to be bitten by a spider that contained radiation, you would possibly die within the next 5 days from the radiation.

  • Spider-man

    A spider from a cross species is different from a radio active spider. If you were to be bitten by a spider that contained radiation, you would possibly die within the next 5 days from the radiation.

  • arun

    is it possible to become spiderman after bitting by spider if it is then name that spider??????

  • arun

    is it possible to become spiderman after bitting by spider if it is then name that spider??????

  • Jacob

    It is possible to become the amazing spiderman…. But very, very unlikely. What has to happen is when a spider bited you, first, if you want all the effects spiderman can do, you have to find a spider that is cross breeded with 6 rare spider types. Then, if you do find one like that, the spider has to extract a RetroVirus into your body/cells and the virus has to connect to ALL of your cells so the RNA can replace your DNA. If this dosnt happen however, there is a chance you could die. Its very risky but it is possible. Unlikley though.

  • Jacob

    It is possible to become the amazing spiderman…. But very, very unlikely. What has to happen is when a spider bited you, first, if you want all the effects spiderman can do, you have to find a spider that is cross breeded with 6 rare spider types. Then, if you do find one like that, the spider has to extract a RetroVirus into your body/cells and the virus has to connect to ALL of your cells so the RNA can replace your DNA. If this dosnt happen however, there is a chance you could die. Its very risky but it is possible. Unlikley though.

  • under the mask

    It’s always been my dream to become Spiderman. Not because of his amazing powers, I just want to use them for the greater good. So someone please help me, tell me how I can become that hero.

  • under the mask

    It’s always been my dream to become Spiderman. Not because of his amazing powers, I just want to use them for the greater good. So someone please help me, tell me how I can become that hero.

  • kishan

    I think that is possible to react as a spider and it is not nessesary that it will bit you…..
    but as my mind we need reaserch on some thing like spider’s DNA , human’s DNA ,spider’s retrovirus ,spider’s and human’s genetics creation ,thers mind working, their body working, their natural changes in body, etc………
    If we are succesed in combination of spider’s and human’s DNA, human body acssept spider’s genetic species, change working of mind as spider and some ather possibilities then we have, a human can behave as a spider, a human can become a spider

  • kishan

    I think that is possible to react as a spider and it is not nessesary that it will bit you…..
    but as my mind we need reaserch on some thing like spider’s DNA , human’s DNA ,spider’s retrovirus ,spider’s and human’s genetics creation ,thers mind working, their body working, their natural changes in body, etc………
    If we are succesed in combination of spider’s and human’s DNA, human body acssept spider’s genetic species, change working of mind as spider and some ather possibilities then we have, a human can behave as a spider, a human can become a spider

  • Dharon

    If we all became spiderman then after 10 years later lets meet at great wall of china ok 😉 hehe

  • Dharon

    If we all became spiderman then after 10 years later lets meet at great wall of china ok 😉 hehe

  • Robert Smalling

    Hi my name is Robert and i am reading your comments. It too is my dream to become spider man and i even prayed to the Lord to become him. I don’t know if that could really happen or not and i dream about it happening. I need some advice on how to become spider man. Please help me. You can talk to me on Google plus or G-mail and my profile name is super man.

  • Robert Smalling

    Hi my name is Robert and i am reading your comments. It too is my dream to become spider man and i even prayed to the Lord to become him. I don’t know if that could really happen or not and i dream about it happening. I need some advice on how to become spider man. Please help me. You can talk to me on Google plus or G-mail and my profile name is super man.

  • Renu Rio

    What is the name of spider ……? That when it bite I could became the spider man

  • Renu Rio

    What is the name of spider ……? That when it bite I could became the spider man

  • Daniel

    I want to know which spider do have a retrovirus so i can study it and see what happen

  • Daniel

    I want to know which spider do have a retrovirus so i can study it and see what happen

  • david

    My dream or fantasy is to become a spiderman.iam very much interested in it.if you can please advice me that which spider can release the right retroviruses and when …

  • david

    My dream or fantasy is to become a spiderman.iam very much interested in it.if you can please advice me that which spider can release the right retroviruses and when …

  • Tlat

    Possibilities of surviving the retro virus is a 5% I have studied and researched this since I’ve heard of spiderman. I took a retro virus and mixed it with human dna. Then injected it into a spider and let it bite my friend. He agreed BTW. He was OK and sure as hell worked. For a while anyways. But down sides hair on his hands, webs 3 feet and break easily, spider senses work in a close distance. It worked and I was exitied and wanted to do it to myself until bad happened. His arm went black and he had an amputation I am going to further study this

  • Tlat

    Possibilities of surviving the retro virus is a 5% I have studied and researched this since I’ve heard of spiderman. I took a retro virus and mixed it with human dna. Then injected it into a spider and let it bite my friend. He agreed BTW. He was OK and sure as hell worked. For a while anyways. But down sides hair on his hands, webs 3 feet and break easily, spider senses work in a close distance. It worked and I was exitied and wanted to do it to myself until bad happened. His arm went black and he had an amputation I am going to further study this

  • Lorenzo Whittingham

    I don’t know whether to call you people crazy or delusional, but my advice to all of you: Leave the fictional world be. It is not meant for the human flesh to partake with the essences of these things in nature. If God needed there to be a purpose for us to be on a level with him, then such things would be possible. Even if the answers were right under our noses, God has fixed it to where we will never find these answers. Chaos would ensue. Not everyone in this world is going to be so noble, even if they have the best of intentions. We are all just filthy rags. We have to let God clean us up first. You can’t polish a dirty table with a filthy rag. If it were possible to do what Peter Parker could do, I don’t think you folks have considered the downside effects of such a human trial. What if the majority of the spider DNA takes over the vast majority of your human DNA? You might turn. It’s important to use mind over matter. These things in nature are like symbiotes looking for a suitable host to bond to. Once something binds to its host, it will become nearly impossible to unbind. Cease with the experimentation trials, people. Be wise, and live life to the fullest.

  • MD. Farhad

    There are many hidden topics around the world those are unknown to us

  • Chetan

    Friends, see the Google images for # radioactive spiders
    # lifespan of spiders

  • DimonicWolf

    In the amazing spiderman movie the reason why no one else could perfect Peters father’s cross-breed genetics work is that his father put his own DNA in the spiders that bit Peter so the venom from the spider combined with Peters blood giving him the power of a spider.

  • nevin

    I am not telling that you cant become spiderman but if a radioactive spider bites you it can severe effects on the victims body and if by chance if the spider is very strong and even if the radiation is also strong it can cause changes in DNA but there are a million possibilities in which spiderman is just 0.01%and still I dont think you will become the hansome and powerfull spiderman in movies ,it will be worse than you think -opinion from great scientist

  • Muhammad

    I think cross specie genetics is possible. But the side effects may be fatal or can even kill you. And can radioactive spiderbites make you a spiderman. If this is gonna be possible it will be possible in a generations time as technology moves on….

  • Nicholas

    I think cross species genetics is possible but we may need a fresh sample of 50 percent of human and spider but then we will need to test it I will find out how it works and how to produce it and also make a vaccine.

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