My brother, who lives in Southern California) called me last night and somehow after a bit the discussion deteriorated to spiders (he was bitten by a brown recluse a couple of years ago, hence his interest in poisonous insects). Anyway, he said something about a tarantula, the bite of which can cause painful erections in human males...for hours. Naturally, I challenged this as one more of his...well...fabrications.
So, as soon as I could, I turned to your friend and mine...Google, and googled in tarantulas and erection. Tarantulas came up...erections came up...but nothing about a connection of the two.
So I read an article about tarantulas HERE: http://www.indepthinfo.com/articles/tarantulas.shtml
Here is the relevant excerpt, if you don't feel like reading the entire article:
Tarantulas get their name from the city of Taranto in Italy. Beginning in the year 1370 and for about three hundred years thereafter there was an epidemic of spider bites during the harvest season in the farming areas around the city. The bites were thought to be produced by the "tarantula". The only cure for the bite was supposed to be to dance vigorously in a gyration called the tarantella. Those bitten were called called the tarantati. Paul Hillyard in "The Book of the Spider", tells us that those bitten suffered "severe pain and swelling, muscle spasms, vomiting, palpitation, fainting, priapism (involuntary erections), shameless exhibitionism, acute melancholia, and delirium, leading to death if untreated."
Priapism? Well hells bells as they say down in the trailer park. That lead me to this site, the article of which you are going to have to read yourself...I don't want to clutter my beautiful blog space: HERE.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priapism
If that didn't scare the shit out of all males out there from the ages of 18-67 reading this, I don't know what will. The belows and overs will probably be wanting to know WHERE to get one of these spiders.
But after further investigation, it turns out the tarantula is getting a bum rap. The spider that CAN cause priapism---not to mention, death---is the Brazilian Wandering Spider. And HERE is everything you need to know about that cutie. Of course if you live in Australia, you have an equally nasty little bugger of your own. I can't attest to the Aussie spider's erection capabilities, though.
I don't know about you, but I am canceling my planned trip up the Amazon...and giving up bananas.
OK, my brother's story was only half fabricated.