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View Full Version : Worst. Way. To die. Evar.


Mindfield
08-28-2007, 12:07 PM
Pet spider kills its owner (http://thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2004092008,00.html)

Unfortunately, that's only the very tip of the iceberg. It's not so much that it was horrible for the victim -- though I imagine death from a Black Widow bite is hardly pleasant -- but for he observer... Jesus fried Christ on a bagel*. I want to scream like a little girl.

WARNING: Not for those easily wigged out by creepy crawlies or reptiles. Seriously.



* It's Sacrelicious!

Larry Borgia
08-28-2007, 12:14 PM
What an idjit. I actually like spiders, but keeping a deadly venomous animal as a pet is just...words fail me.

Hal Briston
08-28-2007, 12:29 PM
...words fail me.Not me -- here's some words for this guy:

Hey moron! They're spiders! They only reason they exist it to plot the death of every single human being on the planet, with a side plan of eliminating all that is beautiful in the world! What in the happy hopping fuck are you doing keeping them as fricking pets?!

I'd sooner snuggle up with a running chainsaw.

Marlitharn
08-28-2007, 12:30 PM
My skin crawled off my body and and is twitching and whimpering in the corner, and my face is frozen in a rictus of horror.

Ew. Just....eww EWWWWWW! EEEEEEEK!!!!!

Spice Weasel
08-28-2007, 12:32 PM
I like spiders.

But, e

askeptic
08-28-2007, 12:33 PM
Strange story. Why do they think a black widow is responsible? Postmortem is not done yet. Black widow bites are rarely fatal to healthy adults. They sort of explained how the spiders got out (how does one heating element explode let alone two?) but how did the reptiles get loose? Why did they all stay in the apartment? I was not aware that spiders would eat chunks of flesh. Unless the reptiles were something like Kimodo Dragons I don't see how they could rip chunks of flesh from the body either. Yup this is one strange story. My Spidey sense is tingling.

gigi
08-28-2007, 12:37 PM
Hee. I think I mentioned this when this story came up before, but it reminds me of when I lived in the Bronx and heard about a guy who bought a live chicken to feed his boa constrictor. The boa got so excited by the smell or whatever that he turned around and smushed the guy to death.

Diogenes the Cynic
08-28-2007, 12:37 PM
Auuuugggghhhhh. That's just.......Aughhhhhhh. :eek:

Kricket
08-28-2007, 12:39 PM
I bet the scene was surreal.
And now I am going to busy myself with something because sitting here after reading that has given me the creepy crawlies.
I about jumped out of my seat when I felt a stray hair tickle my leg. I know, we were warned.

Contrapuntal
08-28-2007, 12:39 PM
I navigated to the home page of the referenced newspaper. It seems to be the equivalent of the National Enquirer. I'd take that description with a few lumps of salt. How could "the authorities" determine that "Bettina" was solely responsible for his death?

ivylass
08-28-2007, 12:41 PM
Okay, it's bad enough he died of a spider bite. But to live in a zoo of reptiles and insects and have them eat his body after he died....they're aren't enough :eek:

Diogenes the Cynic
08-28-2007, 12:45 PM
I navigated to the home page of the referenced newspaper. It seems to be the equivalent of the National Enquirer. I'd take that description with a few lumps of salt. How could "the authorities" determine that "Bettina" was solely responsible for his death?
I suppose they could determine it was black widow venom that killed him, and if Bettina was the only black widow then there you go.

Still, I hope it's not true. Ye gods, can you imagine being the first responder to that scene and having to figure out how to clear away all the lizards and snakes and tarantulas in order to recover the body?

Auugghhhh [squick-shudder-twitch]. I have to stop thinking about it but I can't. I'll see it in my dreams tonight.

jjimm
08-28-2007, 12:47 PM
Aeeeeeeeeeeuuw. I don't really have a problem with spiders and so on, but that's simply... aaargh.

None of which makes me happier that some woman may have just released a load of Australian redbacks into my local area (http://oxfordmail.net/news/headlines/display.var.1636980.0.deadly_spiders_found_in_luggage.php) from a packing case shipped from Oz...

ETA: Contrapuntal, The Sun, while extremely prurient and not the greatest adherent to journalistic integrity, is actually a real newspaper, and despite its low quality has considerably more integrity than the National Enquirer.

redtail23
08-28-2007, 12:51 PM
Black Widows generally aren't fatal. Geckos are generally insectivores - I'd think they'd have eaten the termites before they started on the body. I think most spiders eat only live prey, you have to fool them to get them to eat just meat.

It all seems a bit...unlikely.

redtail23
08-28-2007, 12:52 PM
Hee. I think I mentioned this when this story came up before, but it reminds me of when I lived in the Bronx and heard about a guy who bought a live chicken to feed his boa constrictor. The boa got so excited by the smell or whatever that he turned around and smushed the guy to death.Now that can happen. I've had my snakes bite me when they thought I was food (due to my own stupidity).

Contrapuntal
08-28-2007, 12:56 PM
I suppose they could determine it was black widow venom that killed him, and if Bettina was the only black widow then there you go.
A) The post-mortem has not been carried out yet.

B) The odds are overwhelmingly against it.

http://ladywildlife.com/animal/blackwidowspider.html

http://desertusa.com/july97/du_bwindow.html

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2061A.html

http://emedicine.com/EMERG/topic546.htm


If you don't want to slog through all that, suffice it to say no deaths have been reported in the US since 1983, one was reported in Spain (2001) and Greece (2003.)

The bottom line is that the spider does not inject enough venom to be fatal to humans in the vast majority of cases.



ETA: Thanks. jjim.

Little Nemo
08-28-2007, 01:04 PM
I didn't read the linked article. And thisThey sort of explained how the spiders got out (how does one heating element explode let alone two?) but how did the reptiles get loose? Why did they all stay in the apartment? I was not aware that spiders would eat chunks of flesh. Unless the reptiles were something like Kimodo Dragons I don't see how they could rip chunks of flesh from the body either.convinces me I made the right choice.

Anaamika
08-28-2007, 01:07 PM
That article just gets weirder and weirder. Are we sure he didn't just have a heart attack? And I know my gecko doesn't eat human flesh. Or any kind of flesh.

But who actually keeps a black widow....?

The Chao Goes Mu
08-28-2007, 01:13 PM
Under no circumstances do the words "pet" and "spider" belong in the same sentence.

From the article:
"Larger pieces of flesh torn off by the lizards were scooped up and taken back to the webs of tarantulas and other bird-eating spiders"


:::::shudder:::::

Nothing like cozying up on the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon with your "pet" black widow and your "pet" gila monster.

Wile E
08-28-2007, 01:13 PM
Yeah, that's a bad way to go but it sounds like he was probably dead before the bugs began their feast. But worst way to go still has to be the person who drowned in the liquid manure tank.


I wonder if they'll find out that he had a heart attack or something unrelated to the critters before they even escaped and they had nothing to do with it?

wolf in second hand clothing
08-28-2007, 01:14 PM
Don't spiders only eat things that they kill? I have a hard time believing that "chunks of flesh bitten off by the lizards" were carried into the spider webs. The spiders probably just caught some of the termites and wrapped them in webbing, though the mistake on the part of the first responders is probably excusable. I'm sure they didn't stop to analyze all of that too closely.

DeadlyAccurate
08-28-2007, 01:23 PM
I would imagine the first responders saw the black widow and jumped to conclusions as to the cause of death. Unless the man was allergic to the spider venom, how could it have killed him, let alone killed him so fast he didn't have time to call emergency services? How in the world could they have seen one tiny spider bite on a half-eaten, rotting human corpse? And why would the lizards be eating him when they had free access to an all-you-can-eat termite buffet? Most animals choose their natural food source before looking for alternatives.

Also, do termites eat living flesh? I thought they only ate wood.

Mindfield
08-28-2007, 01:24 PM
Well, there are a couple of possibilities.

1) The venom could have triggered an allergic reaction, sending him into anaphylactic shock and ultimately death.

2) Putrefaction would make flesh more ... malleable.

Granted, there are some potential holes in the story (which nevertheless take away nothing from its skull-banging creepiness) and it has a distinct urban legend flavour (though Snopes does not seem to have anything on this) but still.

>>twitch<<

ETA: Termites eat cellulose -- plant and wood fibers. Although humans can consume it as fibrous roughage, we can't digest it, so unless the termites had run out of some nice tasty timbers to snack on, I doubt they would have been feeding on much more than maybe bits of clothing or something. Plus, termites don't much care for sunlight. They'd much rather be scurrying around the floorboards or rafters.

Hal Briston
08-28-2007, 01:29 PM
Still, I hope it's not true. Ye gods, can you imagine being the first responder to that scene and having to figure out how to clear away all the lizards and snakes and tarantulas in order to recover the body?If it were up to me:

1) Turn off all heat sources in the place.
2) Place a nice, toasty heating pad near the door. Every snake and lizard that comes over gets scooped up and lovingly placed in a safe, comfy new home. Every spider that comes near the door while were rescuing the snakes and lizards gets pounded with a sledgehammer.
3) Once all the snakes and lizards are out, burn the fucking place to the ground.

Wile E
08-28-2007, 01:32 PM
Well, there are a couple of possibilities.

1) The venom could have triggered an allergic reaction, sending him into anaphylactic shock and ultimately death.

2) Putrefaction would make flesh more ... malleable.

Granted, there are some potential holes in the story (which nevertheless take away nothing from its skull-banging creepiness) and it has a distinct urban legend flavour (though Snopes does not seem to have anything on this) but still.

>>twitch<<

ETA: Termites eat cellulose -- plant and wood fibers. Although humans can consume it as fibrous roughage, we can't digest it, so unless the termites had run out of some nice tasty timbers to snack on, I doubt they would have been feeding on much more than maybe bits of clothing or something. Plus, termites don't much care for sunlight. They'd much rather be scurrying around the floorboards or rafters.

I considered all that but I was too busy suppressing an extreme case of the willies to post anything else.

Larry Borgia
08-28-2007, 01:34 PM
Seriously I don't get why some people are so freaked out over spiders. Why are they worse than other insects? Hell, they eat other insects, which is a good reason to keep them around. (The non-poisonous ones of course.) I mean no offence and I know we've all got our phobias, but I don't see why a spider is more threatening than a mosquito, fly, or wasp.

Wile E
08-28-2007, 01:40 PM
Seriously I don't get why some people are so freaked out over spiders. Why are they worse than other insects? Hell, they eat other insects, which is a good reason to keep them around. (The non-poisonous ones of course.) I mean no offence and I know we've all got our phobias, but I don't see why a spider is more threatening than a mosquito, fly, or wasp.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, anything with over 4 legs freaks me out*. Spiders freak me out more because they even have more than legs than insects. I thank god that I have never encountered a centipede or millipede in person.

*Mutant lambs and other mammals with extra limbs excluded - even though they are freaky - I feel confident that they are not going to scurry up my leg or drop on me from the ceiling.

The Chao Goes Mu
08-28-2007, 01:45 PM
Seriously I don't get why some people are so freaked out over spiders. Why are they worse than other insects? Hell, they eat other insects, which is a good reason to keep them around. (The non-poisonous ones of course.) I mean no offence and I know we've all got our phobias, but I don't see why a spider is more threatening than a mosquito, fly, or wasp.

A phobia is an abnormal fear of something. Naturally it doesn't make sense to someone who isn't abnormally afraid of spiders.
Spiders freak me out but I don't have a phobia. Bridges don't bother me but my mother has a panic attack if driving over one. Bridges aren't inherently dangerous and she's never suffered a bridge-related trauma but the fear is there.


ETA: I have a shark phobia. In spite of living in the midwest, by Lake Erie, where there are no sharks.

Hal Briston
08-28-2007, 01:45 PM
Seriously I don't get why some people are so freaked out over spiders. Why are they worse than other insects?For me, it's three-fold:

1) The eyes. Those black, soulless dots. Gyahhh, close-ups of them just skeeve me right the fuck out.
2) The way they eat. The whole "inject digestive juices into prey and then drink their innards" thing. That ain't right....I'm pretty sure that's how Satan enjoys a meal too.
3) And, of course, the concrete fact that they hate humanity and want us all dead.

vetbridge
08-28-2007, 01:58 PM
I navigated to the home page of the referenced newspaper. It seems to be the equivalent of the National Enquirer. I'd take that description with a few lumps of salt. How could "the authorities" determine that "Bettina" was solely responsible for his death?
Cases like this one are not as rare as you might think. IME, the deceased usually died of a heart attack/stroke/aneurysm/whatever, and the media has fun speculating on cause of death.

Yllaria
08-28-2007, 01:59 PM
Yeah, that's a bad way to go but it sounds like he was probably dead before the bugs began their feast. But worst way to go still has to be the person who drowned in the liquid manure tank. . .
I vote for the zookeeper who died from giving an elephant an enema. Although there was talk that he had been knocked out and therefore not aware of being smothered under 300 lbx of backlog.

Most of what happened to the spider wrangler happened after he was dead. Creepy for the clean up crew. Unhappy for the relatives. Not of much interest to the dearly departed, who might have been the sort of person to get a kick out of the idea.

Tupug Anachi
08-28-2007, 02:03 PM
Pure. Unadulterated. Hogwash.

C'mon, people, let's fight some ignorance here.

chowder
08-28-2007, 02:06 PM
I've said this before and I'll say it again, anything with over 4 legs freaks me out*. Spiders freak me out more because they even have more than legs than insects. I thank god that I have never encountered a centipede or millipede in person.

*Mutant lambs and other mammals with extra limbs excluded - even though they are freaky - I feel confident that they are not going to scurry up my leg or drop on me from the ceiling.
Like ::Spider pig, spider pig, does whatever a.............::

jjimm
08-28-2007, 02:06 PM
Any German-speakers care to do some searching on the local press?

jjimm
08-28-2007, 02:12 PM
Here's another UK paper (http://mirror.co.uk/archive/2004/02/27/eaten-by-his-pet-spiders-89520-13993765/) (similar in quality to The Sun, but a little better). Just seen it's dated 2004, so probably not much luck in pursuing this.

askeptic
08-28-2007, 02:24 PM
EATEN BY HIS PET SPIDERS
Cops' macabre find in flat
From Allan Hall In Berlin 27/02/2004

Pet spider kills its owner
From
FULL NEWS INDEX ››
From ALLAN HALL
in Berlin

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pure Unadulterated Bullshit.

Contrapuntal
08-28-2007, 02:24 PM
Here's another UK paper (http://mirror.co.uk/archive/2004/02/27/eaten-by-his-pet-spiders-89520-13993765/) (similar in quality to The Sun, but a little better). Just seen it's dated 2004, so probably not much luck in pursuing this.So the Sun pretty much copy-and-pastes a three year old story, does not reveal that, and it's a legitimate newspaper? They write this line as if it is news? A post-mortem will be carried out in the next few days. Really? That guy is still in the morgue in Germany?

Dag Otto
08-28-2007, 02:44 PM
*Mutant lambs and other mammals with extra limbs excluded - even though they are freaky - I feel confident that they are not going to scurry up my leg or drop on me from the ceiling.


It's almost impossible for a seven-legged lamb to attack me once it's on my grill. I say almost impossible, because with seven legs it just might jump up one last time, stabbing me with its lamb fangs.

That's why I put that sucker on a spit.

Mops
08-28-2007, 03:11 PM
I found copies of news stories from February 2004 in German-language discussion fora. The name given was Mark V. (I assume "Mark Voegel" is a bit of an extrapolation on The Sun's part - German authorities do not release full names of accident victims etc, and someone named "Mark Voegel" would be likely to apply for (and be approved) a last name change because "Voegel"/"Vögel" is not only the plural of "bird" but also the imperative form of of "to swive"...) - "Vogel" would be a much more usual surname.

The few articles mentioned a large number of insects/spiders who had to be recovered by animal rescue, but said spider bite was only a possibility, the corpse was not eaten, no bites were detected, and that the corpse was too far gone to do much toxicological tests.

jjimm
08-28-2007, 03:14 PM
So the Sun pretty much copy-and-pastes a three year old story, does not reveal that, and it's a legitimate newspaper? They write this line as if it is news? Really? That guy is still in the morgue in Germany?Hold on a tick: where do you get the date on that story? If it's from the masthead of the site, that's nothing to do with the story: it's autogenerated. The actual story linked by the OP seems to be from the archive.

Can't believe I'm vaguely defending The Sun here...

cmkeller
08-28-2007, 03:33 PM
Maybe it wasn't an accidental death. "Being eaten" seems to be a fetish with some degree of following in Germany*, and anyone who keeps that many reptiles and spiders around may have had more than pet-hood on his mind.

*a la Dave Barry - Being-eaten fetish stories from outside Germany = 0; being-eaten fetish stories from Germany = 1, hence, Germans are infinity percent more likely to have a being-eaten fetish than non-Germans!

jjimm
08-28-2007, 03:34 PM
The few articles mentioned a large number of insects/spiders who had to be recovered by animal rescue, but said spider bite was only a possibility, the corpse was not eaten, no bites were detected, and that the corpse was too far gone to do much toxicological tests.Now that sounds like the British tabloid press: they don't make shit up, they just "extrapolate".

Harmonious Discord
08-28-2007, 03:36 PM
Wait until they rent the place out in a few months and the renter gets bitten by a cobra or something else that was in the heating ductwork. Do you think this is something they have to disclose to the next renter? I'll bet it's not on the books. I wouldn't trust the place to be safe.

Sailboat
08-28-2007, 03:39 PM
Here's the dumbest sentence in the whole article:

She said: “He had spiders so aggressive they are the equivalent of a pit-bull in the animal world.

Despite the sensationalism popular in the news, pit bulls are not generally regarded as human-aggressive (you can look it up...they used to be called "the nanny dog" around the turn of the century).

But never mind that. Aren't, well, pit bulls the pit bulls of the animal world?

Sailboat

Contrapuntal
08-28-2007, 03:43 PM
Hold on a tick: where do you get the date on that story? If it's from the masthead of the site, that's nothing to do with the story: it's autogenerated. The actual story linked by the OP seems to be from the archive. You're right. I was going by the masthead. And the fact that the OP did not note that the story was over three years old.

KGS
08-28-2007, 03:58 PM
It's my understanding that The Sun is more analogous to the New York Post instead of the Enquirer. Is that a fair statement?

Also, this line:
She said: “He had spiders so aggressive they are the equivalent of a pit-bull in the animal world.” makes me think they should FedEx the surviving insects to Michael Vick.

Anaamika
08-28-2007, 03:59 PM
But never mind that. Aren't, well, pit bulls the pit bulls of the animal world?

Sailboat
While I agree it's a really stupid article and glares out from the middle of it, I think they mean "as opposed to the insect world or the reptile world."

jjimm
08-28-2007, 04:14 PM
It's my understanding that The Sun is more analogous to the New York Post instead of the Enquirer. Is that a fair statement?The closest equivalent, I'd say, except way more obsessed with sex, somewhat lower journalistic standards, and treatment of the readership like they're five years old (albeit with functional genitalia). It does sometimes have decent journalism, although written in a simplistic manner, and some simple political punditry, usually from the right wing.

Journo: "Would you say you're angry about what happened?"
Subject: "A little."
Journo: "Can I quote you on that?"
Subject: "Er... OK."
Next day's headline: MY FURY ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED - a Sun exclusive

They also have tits on page three every day, and in other articles say things like:

"Denzel was an animal in bed. We did it up to five days a night in all manner of positions." Because The Sun is a family newspaper we are unable to continue with these revelations.

Needless to say it's the most popular paper in the entire UK. :rolleyes:

MovieMogul
08-28-2007, 04:40 PM
Under no circumstances do the words "pet" and "spider" belong in the same sentence. Except maybe, "Sorry, but I just stomped on your pet spider."

So would this be a case of chamelon karma?

jjimm
08-28-2007, 04:45 PM
ArchiveGuy, that joke skinks.

Tripler
08-28-2007, 04:59 PM
If it were up to me:

1) Turn off all heat sources in the place.
2) Place a nice, toasty heating pad near the door. Every snake and lizard that comes over gets scooped up and lovingly placed in a safe, comfy new home. Every spider that comes near the door while were rescuing the snakes and lizards gets pounded with a sledgehammer.
3) Once all the snakes and lizards are out, burn the fucking place to the ground.

3a) . . . take off and nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Tripler
My "Ick Factor" has pegged at 7.2 on a 1 - 5 scale.

Belrix
08-28-2007, 05:03 PM
I have to say I'm suspicious of the story, too. Tarantulas are ground-dwellers, aren't they? Big cousins to trap door spiders? It wouldn't build a bird-sized nest in the top of a room, would it?

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