Mystery Spiders Swarm Town, Leave 2 Dead

Indian town of Sadiya reels from arachnid invasion

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 3, 2012 3:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – Venomous spiders have swarmed the Indian town of Sadiya, killing two people and flooding hospitals with spider bite victims, the Global Post reports. The previously unknown species, which resembles the tarantula, crawled in about a month ago and wreaked havoc at a Hindu festival. A man and a schoolboy have already died—apparently from the bites, if not from dubious treatment at the hands of witch doctors, reports the Times of India.

"All the bite patients first went to witch doctors, who cut open their wounds with razors, drained out blood and burnt it," says a medical doctor. "That could have also made them sick." A team of scientists has arrived at the small town in north-east India, hoping to find an antidote and identify the mystery species. Whatever it is, one scientist says it's a "highly aggressive spider" that "leaps at anything that comes close" and remains "latched onto them after biting." (For a less scary story, see what musical silk one spider can spin.)

A Funnel Web spider, which resembles the spiders that have swarmed a small Indian town.
A Funnel Web spider, which resembles the spiders that have swarmed a small Indian town.   (Shutterstock)
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