According to a message that is currently going viral on Facebook, a new deadly spider is spreading across the USA. Supposedly, five people in the last week have died after being bitten by this new “spider from hell”.
The message, which includes an image of the supposed hell spider, claims that one bite from the spider is deadly and that the government is working on an antivenom.
However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. There are no credible news reports about the spider related deaths mentioned in the message. Nor are there any official warnings about the “deadly spider” or any news about the government’s alleged antivenom development.
Moreover, the spider depicted in the image is neither new nor deadly. In fact, it is a relatively harmless woodlouse spider.
Woodlouse spiders live under logs, rocks, woodpiles and in leaf litter. They may also be found in houses. They are rather timid and usually run away from people but they can bite if handled. Bites can reportedly cause localised itching but will not lead to any long-term medical problems. Bites from woodlouse spiders are certainly not fatal.
The image used in the hoax warning was stolen from an October 2015 post about spiders published on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln website.
The fake warning comes from a Facebook profile that spews out a constant stream of puerile nonsense.
If the post comes your way, do not spread it further by sharing it. And be sure to let the person who posted the message know that the information it contains is untrue.
An example of the hoax:
NEW DEADLY SPIDER SPREADS ACROSS USA
THE SPIDER FROM HELL. FIVE PEOPLE DIED THIS WEEK DUE TO THE BITE OF THIS DEADLY SPIDER. THIS SPIDER WAS FIRST SEEN IN SOUTH CAROLINA IN JULY SINCE THEN IT HAS CAUSED DEATHS IN WEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE AND MISSISSIPPI. ONE BITE FROM THIS SPIDER IS DEADLY. US GOVERNMENT WORKING ON A ANTI VENOM AT THIS TIME PLEASE MAKE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIEND AWARE
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!