An Australian man’s holiday to Bali took a dark turn last week after he discovered a painful red line forming above his belly button. At first, doctors told 21-year-old Dylan Thomas that it was just an insect bite. Then the line started to grow. It was apparently a spider burrowed into his belly.
It slowly climbed up towards his heart. The arachnid, which was about the size of a match head, survived inside of the man’s body for three days before doctors finally pulled it out. Thomas described the pain as a “searing burn”. His friends now call him Spiderman.
“It takes a lot to deter me, but I do feel violated,” Thomas told NT News. “It was a very bizarre experience just to know something like that was in my body for a couple of days.” Again, bizarre seems like an understatement.
Update: Talking to io9, however, associate professor at McGill University’s Department of Natural Resource Sciences Christopher Buddle said this is “likely not possible:”
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 sceptical because the ‘evidence’ (the spider itself) is not presented.