UK Woman Discovers World’s Most Venomous Spider in a Banana

By Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
September 11, 2015 Updated: March 11, 2016

A U.K. woman bought a bunch of bananas from a Tesco supermarket in West Yorkshire recently, but she didn’t expect the fruit to include one of the most deadly spiders on Earth.

Laura Horsfield, 31, said she found a “white pouch” on the side of one of the bananas. The pouch had a nest of Brazilian wandering spiders, which has been dubbed the world’s most venomous.

I didn’t know what they were and wasn’t about to start poking it to find out.
— Laura Horsfield

“When I realised it looked like they were such deadly spiders I freaked out, I couldn’t believe it. The moment I saw it, I thought it looked like a nest as there were dark shapes inside it – I didn’t know what they were and wasn’t about to start poking it to find out,” she said, per the Register

She added: “It was the same as the ones I’d seen on the internet but I thought I must be being silly. But then I posted it on Facebook and before I knew it, my friends were sharing other pictures of Brazilian wandering spider nests and it looked exactly the same.”

Horsfield said she freaked out after she realized it was the arachnid, Phoneutria fera. 

“I threw it on the floor in the garden and stamped on it lots of times. But then I thought that some could have survived that so I boiled the kettle and poured the boiling water over it to try and scald any remaining ones to death,” she told the paper.

“I don’t think anything survived that but I wasn’t about to take the risk so I put what remained of the banana and nest in a sealed sandwich bag to suffocate anything that might be alive in there. If it could be considered a fight, I certainly won!”

The spiders are typically found in tropical South America, from Costa Rica to northern Argentina and obviously Brazil.

The Guinness Book of Records says it is the most venomous spider, and it is known to eat even mice.