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Australian Returns Home From Vacation With Spider in Body


Allegations of a Syndey man who returned home from Bali and had to have a spider surgically removed from his stomach after it burrowed its way into his body. Determination: Unproven

According to an October 17, 2014 article by NBC News, Dylan Maxwell was vacationing in Bali when the tiny creature managed to burrow through a small appendix scar and left a red scar-"like trail from his navel to his chest," but spider experts doubt this could be possible.

Maxwell told an Australian television network "that's where it actually burrowed underneath my skin," as he lifted his shirt to show the tell-tale scar. 

The article said that the scar began appearing while he was still in Bali, so he visited a local medical center where he was "prescribed an antihistamine for an insect bite."  Maxwell posted this on his Facebook profile,"After running tests and putting things inside my stomach they finally found out it was a tropical spider that's been living inside me for the last three days. Haven't felt so violated in my life before! Just glad it's all over."

The tropical arachnid was removed by doctors when he returned to to the Land Down Under.

Maxwell told reporters,  "They managed to pull the spider out of my navel and put it in a specimen jar and took it away." contacted spider experts and they casted doubts on the creep crawler incident. Christopher Buddle, associate professor at McGill University's Department of Natural Resource Sciences, emailed io9 and said, "I think this is extremely suspect, unusual, and likely not possible."  He continued, "Simply put: it is not plausible and I can think of no valid reason why a spider might 'crawl beneath skin through a scar'. The claim that it was 'feeding and moving up through the scar tissue' defies logic and defies what we know about the biology of spiders. I am also skeptical because the 'evidence' (the spider itself) is not presented."

Marie Herberstein, Head of the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University in New South Wales, was also contacted. She wrote, "I have never heard of any spider to crawl or exist under the skin or integument of any other creature (there are no parasites amongst spiders)." But she suspected the cause for the scar may have been a different creepy critter. She told io9, "My initial reaction is that this is a mite (also 8-legged) rather than a spider, and mites are renown[ed] for this type of behaviour, such as in scabies. Let's see what the identification brings."

Australian man with spider in body

Posted 10/18/14

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