An urban legend joined forces with a recurring nightmare and the worst case scenario to permanently traumatize a young mother who found dozens of the world's most venomous spiders crawling all over the banana she was preparing to consume.
"I thought it was mold," said Consi Taylor, 29, of London, referring to the white spots she found on her banana. "[B]ut when I had a closer look I saw some funny looking spots...and was horrified to see they were spiders. They were hatching out on the table, scurrying around on my carpet."
Before realizing she was dealing with dozens of Brazilian wandering spiders (AKA banana spiders) — a highly aggressive, highly venomous spider certified as "the most toxic" by Guinness World Records — Taylor attempted to return the bananas to the Sainsbury's supermarket where she'd bought them.
She was initially offered £10 ($16) for her trouble, but after sending a photo of the spider to a pest control specialist, Taylor, her husband Richard, and their two small children were ordered to get the hell out of the house and never look back.
Well, at least until the residence was thoroughly fumigated.
Sainsbury’s subsequently offered to pay the full cost of the extermination, as well as pick up the tab at the hotel where the Taylors were temporarily put up.
The supermarket chain apologized for the incident, but insisted it has "rigorous controls on imported products at all stages" which significantly reduce the instances of killer spiders bursting from bananas and attacking patrons.
Taylor, meanwhile, is content with reducing her daily intake of potassium.
"I hope I didn’t eat one but I can’t be sure," she said. "I now have a phobia of buying bananas. We don’t know whether they’ve all gone."
Update 2:08 p.m.: The screengrab above was taken from a YouTube video published in 2009 showing a
Brazilian Wandering Spider trapped inside a bag of Turbana brand bananas. Please note that the spider incident shown in the video is not related to the spider incident detailed in this article, which involved Colombian Fairtrade bananas.
Update 2:57 p.m.: A representative of Turbana insists that the spider depicted in the video was not a Brazilian Wandering Spider.