Kids often struggle to understand the difference between fact and fiction, and it seems this week, scary proof of that notion has surfaced.
3 young boys have been hospitalized after letting a black widow spider bite them, as they thought it would turn them into Spider-Man.
Keep scrolling to see how this terrifying story played out...
It's probably the most common phobia...
via: GettyArachnophobia, or more commonly known as the fear of spiders, affects a staggering percentage of people here in the U.S.
But why are we so scared of the creatures?
via: GettyConsidering that (most of) these insects are relatively harmless, it seems quite silly that we freak out so much over them... Doesn't it?
Psychologists hold many theories over our somewhat irrational fear...Some suggest that arachnophobia was a survival technique for our ancestors and that the fear has simply been conditioned into us throughout generations.
Though not all psychologists believe this...As some feel that arachnophobia is more likely based on cultural beliefs about the nature of spiders.
But, whatever the reason may be...
via: GettyThe fact remains that hundreds of thousands of us are completely terrified of the eight-legged arachnids, and nothing about that is going to change anytime soon.
Though we do have to count our blessings...Because we live in a country where most of our eight-legged critters can be caught with a drinking glass and a piece of paper.
This isn't the case in some countries...Nope. Some places bring with them some monstrous, home-invading spiders that are too big for the old glass and paper trick.
And there's one country that instantly springs to mind...Australia, of course.
Australia is completely riddled with gigantic spiders...It's a no from me.
The country is notorious for its massive creepy crawlies...
via: GettyBut perhaps the most formidable of them all is the famous Huntsman spider.
Huntsman spiders are probably the most feared spiders in Australia...
via: GettyEven though they're mostly harmless (which is a rarity in that country...) their sheer size and speed have gained them quite the reputation.
They're sickeningly huge...A typical Huntsman's leg-span can reach fifteen centimeters, while some have been known to reach thirty centimeters.
But Huntsmans are generally quite respected in Australia...
via: GettyThe spiders, which tend to live in the woods and warm, tropical climates, are excellent forms of pest control, as they keep cockroach and mosquito numbers at bay.
And they pose no threat to humans.
via: GettyNope, despite how formidable they may look, the Huntsman spider isn't venomous, and very rarely bites humans. Instead, they take shelter and hide until the coast is clear.
Black widows, on the other hand...
via: Getty ImagesWell, their venom is said to be fifteen times stronger than a rattlesnake's.
So, it's safe to say...
via: Getty imagesYou would probably try your best to avoid being bitten by one.
But it seems that's been far from the case over in the town of Chayanta, in the southwestern Bolivian department of Potosi.3 boys have been hospitalized after they purposefully let a black widow spider bite them. Yep, really...
And the reasoning behind their bizarre move is even more baffling (or maybe not so much).The boys are clearly big Marvel fans, as they tried to get the spider to turn them into Spider-Man.
Sadly, the youngsters weren't aware that the classic superhero tale is a work of fiction.While tending to the sheep owned by the family, the boys found a black widow spider and came up with the idea that if they let it bite them they would develop the notorious superpowers seen in the hit movie franchise. Their mother was reportedly out collecting wood while the brothers taunted the black widow with a stick and allowed it to bite them.
But, rather than developing powers...They very quickly started to develop symptoms from the venomous bites, which can include muscle pain and spasms, abdominal cramps, and an increased heart rate.
The shocked mom returned to find her sons crying as a result of the bite...So she quickly whisked them off to the Chayanta health center where they were given medication for the bites.
When their conditions failed to improve...
via: Getty ImagesThey were taken to a hospital in the town of Llallagua before being transferred to the Children’s Hospital in the Bolivian capital La Paz. Virgilio Pietro, the Head of Epidemiology of the Health Ministry, said the youngsters continued to suffer from muscle pains, sweating, fever, and generalized trembling until they were treated with a serum, which proved to be effective.
Their health improved and after 5 days they were allowed to go back home.
via: Getty ImagesPietro, who brought up the case at a press conference, urged parents to help children understand the difference between fact and fiction, explaining: "for children everything is real, films are real, dreams could be real, and they (children) are the hope of our life." It seems these boys have learned the hard way... For more like this, scroll on to check out the stomach-churning moment a woman discovers a huge huntsman spider in her house...