An Austrian supermarket closed due to a Brazilian wandering spider's potential to cause painful erections. The spider's venom is being studied for treating erectile dysfunction. While not deadly, its effects have sparked attention.
Supermarket Closed Down Over Fears About Spider That Can Cause Long, Painful Erections
It's never exciting to see a spider in a supermarket. However, one spider in an Austrian supermarket led to the closure of the store.
You might wonder why that is.
Because it is said that only one bite from the Brazilian wandering spider can result in painful, protracted erections.
That is what you just read.
The four-inch-long spider, which is native to northern South America, was discovered last Tuesday. It was at the Penny market in Krems a der Donau, which is just under an hour outside of Austria's capital Vienna.
The black-and-red spider was discovered in the store's fruit section, and the store manager called the fire brigade.
'Comprehensive cleaning and disinfection steps' are currently being implemented to get the store ready for reopening, a representative for the Rewe retail group told regional media.
However, according to officials, "no spiders have been found to date, despite an extensive search."
According to Live Science, the Brazilian wandering spider's venom induces a prolonged erection that raises blood pressure and produces agony all throughout the victim's body.
According to Medical College of George's Dr. Romulo Leite: "The erection is a side effect that everybody who gets stung by this spider will experience along with the pain and discomfort.”
"We're hoping eventually this will end up in the development of real drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction."
Every cloud has a bright side, right?
In 2012, Smithsonian Magazine put up the notion that the spider might be the "next Viagra."
In order to treat erectile dysfunction in mice and rats, the Federal University of Minas Gerais team created a synthetic toxin.
The gel caused the animals' penis to enlarge for "about 60 minutes."
The study concluded that when used in conjunction, the gel had "effects over and above" Viagra. Even better, the preliminary research revealed no evidence of discomfort or pain.
According to the study's findings, the gel "may emerge as a potent new drug that can be applied topically, becoming a promising alternative for the treatment of erectile dysfunction."
Professor Maria Elena de Lima, the study's principal investigator, stated to The Sun: "We believe it could fill an enormous gap in the market and help millions of people worldwide."
This South American spider's entry into Europe is not the first time it has occurred.
According to reports, the spiders invaded some bananas from a shop in May 2017, which caused an unwary family to flee their home.
Another Brit found an Australian Huntsman spider in his bananas earlier this year, according to another Brit.
Fortunately, although having a severe and venomous bite, the spider is not fatal.
But I assume headlines like "causes painful erections" grab more attention than "not deadly but venomous," eh?