Spider Blamed For Sydney House Explosion. Yes, Really.

Spiders are evil, there's no doubt about that, but today the threat from the eight-legged beasts got real. NSW Police are blaming a spider for a deadly house explosion that nearly claimed the life of an elderly woman. You won't believe this until you read it.

Police were called to a home in the Sydney-suburb of Kirribilli following an explosion inside the home of a 66-year old woman.

The woman reported seeing a spider on top of her washing machine and she naturally grabbed the bug spray and had at it. The eight-legged crawly fled underneath the washing machine, which is where the trouble really began.

The woman sprayed bug spray underneath the machine which fire fighters believe ignited when it came into contact with the hot engine of the machine, which had been running at the time.

The explosion also blew up the washing machine, which more than likely killed the spider in question.

Police, however, are incredibly thorough, and added at the end of their report:

There was no sign of the spider.

Good work, cops. Let this be a lesson to all of you: never trust a spider. [NSW Police]

Spider image by Shutterstock


    Without a body how can we be sure its dead???
    Burn the house down.

      Dude. It survived an explosion! One does not simply kill a spider with a house fire.

        Nuke from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

          Destroy the entire eastern seaboard. Might as well be thorough.

    Let this be a lesson to all of you: never trust a spider.


      Death of a spider, rise of Spiderman!

    not sure why the spider is being blamed. sounds closer to a darwin award. "lets spray this flammable vapor all over a running engine, that sounds like a good idea"

      EXACTLY - how is this the spider's fault?

      Sounds more like oxygen-thieving idiocy to me. My only concern is that the person in the story may have already bred, and possibly outside of their own family, too.

        Darwin award was my first thought when I read the story as well.
        Also when spray ignites it isn't an "explosion" ffs. Way to over react and blow the whole thing out of proportion police pr team :\

          Combustion of Flammable Propellants in a confined space? That sounds like an explosion.

      For some reason it's popular on the internetz to behave as though you're unreasonably scared of spiders. It's the fashion now apparently.

        Totally. Followed by a 'nope' or something along those lines. I mean, I don't really want to hug a spider, but they're not THAAAT bad.

    good to see your working on a saturday, if I wanted to read the odd spot i'd head over to the herald sun site.

    66 is elderly? isnt male retirement age 70 now?
    my mum is 60 - I'd call her old, but not elderly

      If you're senile enough to start a house fire trying to kill a spider you count as elderly in my world.

    She should have "I got the bugger" on her headstone.

    No body found? So, does that mean it's still out there, plotting on how to finish the woman off once and for all? O_O And, if it is still alive, what does that mean for the rest of us? Fire-proof super spiders? O_O I don't think I can live in a world where we can't use the "kill it with fire" meme on photos of spiders. D:

    That's why the Americans can't lose there assault rifles

    Ive seen this before...

    It's gonna come back with giant robot legs to get vengeance!!!!

    "No one suspects the butterfly....."

    How stupid are our cops to come up with such crap. Oh sorry their the same ones that blame the road toll on speeding, so we know how stupid they are.

      Yes because we all know the road toll is due to...

      (help me out here daffy)

        LOL - don't you love it when someone accuses someone else of being stupid by saying "their really stupid"... Hmm maybe so stupid they would use the wrong version of "they're"?

        Anyway olearymo, doesn't everyone know that you can go as fast as you like in a car and there are absolutely no consequences ever? That Commodore over the weekend that was doing about 150 in a 60 zone and hit a tree killing all three occupants, separating the motor from the vehicle and propelling it 80 metres - that was nothing to do with speed!

    Pretty sure human beings are more evil than spiders.

    No sign of spider? That means the woman lied, she intentionally blew up her home.

    Bug spray? who needs it, could have killed the spider instantly with her slipper.

    North shore police does not have much on their plates, hence they jumping on any opportunity.
    As for not finding the body, big mistake. The spider will be back and bringing along his family, his mates and all the "likes" he got from his spiderbook and there will be a big uprising in the name of spider kind.
    Ps. Don't try and kill a spider with hair spray. Not only will it fail, it will also make its hair look fabulous.

    Not sure if an explosion inside a house can be accurately reported as a "house explosion". The washing machine "exploded" (using that term very loosely). Her house, however, did not.

    Last edited 03/02/13 5:25 pm

    Well the title is kind of wrong then... the spider didn't spray the bug spray, now did it? How about "little old lady with bug spray causes explosion"?

    Everyone seems to be very focused on the spider in this story and I think we are missing the real point, what was this woman washing that requires her washing machine to have an engine!!!

    I guess the other possibility is that the article was put through an english to japanese to english translator turning motor into engine :)

      Thank god someone else noted this.
      It was most likely an electric motor as I'm pretty sure there are no washing machines using engines outside of Tim the Toolman's shed.
      It's also liklier (more likely?) that the 'splosion was caused by electrical arcing within said motor igniting the vapors.
      A hot engine won't ignite bug spray unless there's a stray flame or spark.
      So the only thing the spider did wrong was to actually exist.
      The poor old dear who thought nothing of spraying a heap of bugspray around live electrical appliances is at fault, not the arachnid.
      So, new headline.
      "Old dear blows herself up. Spider gets unfairly blamed"
      Also, did she report seeing this spider to someone and THEN go on a spraying spree?
      How do the plod know what happened?

        Just to nitpick on the nitpick, but motors are a subset of engines. Remember, an engine is just a device that converts energy into mechanical force, it doesn't have any constraints on where that energy comes from. Luke's usage isn't incorrect here.

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