The Red Spiders

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The Red Spiders

Postby wanderingnoob » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:01 am UTC

Not sure if this is the right forum, but I view trying to track down hidden information as a puzzle.

How many of you have heard the myth that you eat x spiders a year in your sleep?

Now how many of you know that it was debunked by snopes?

How many of you believe snopes?

Snopes bases their debunking on a 1993 PC Professional article by Lisa Holst. Search-fu didn't turn up any references to that article that didn't contain the exact same information snopes gave out, nor could it find any other work by Lisa Holst. Not only that, but some people have also investigated this, and apparently the British Library and the Library of Congress haven't heard of the author or article either. The people: [url][/url]

The challenge: Find the article. If we can't find it, one has to wonder how snopes did...
Last edited by Felstaff on Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:27 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Link removed, read the rules, etc.

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Re: The Red Spiders

Postby Internetmeme » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:59 am UTC

Quite honestly, you'd probably choke on them if you ate them while sleeping.

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Re: The Red Spiders

Postby Mokele » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:25 am UTC

Spiders aren't like dust particles. They'll avoid going into someone's mouth - and those that don't will quickly be selected against.
"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw" - J. Burns, Biograffiti

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Re: The Red Spiders

Postby . . » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:02 am UTC

Regarding the magazine article, there are lots of old magazines that had very limited runs and existed only fleetingly. I wouldn't be surprised if there was no mention of the article anywhere on the internet. Lisa Holst might have been a student or something. Maybe Snopes just made the article up. The thing is, even if the source does exist, how did snopes track the proliferation of the urban legend? Considering that the PC Professional magazine, let alone the article, is very obscure at best, their explanation of the origin of the myth seems borderline implausible. Not only that, but their explanation of the origin of the myth is completely uncited.

Whether or not someone named Lisa ever made something up about spider ingestion and published it in some obscure pc magazine doesn't prove that people don't eat spiders. Even if the snopes article is 100% correct about the mode of proliferation of this myth, the myth still isn't debunked for me.

Regarding the spiders, there are some really small ones out there, certainly smaller than a millimetre. I also know that some spiders can use their silk to float around in the air. I'm not sure if extreme smallness and floating behaviour ever coincide, but I don't find it inconceivable that a near-microscopic spider could end up floating into an open mouth, and once inside the mouth could be harmlessly swallowed along with saliva. If the spider were small enough you wouldn't even feel it. It could happen. Worms find ways to get into people without their noticing easily enough.

I failed the challenge by the way.

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Re: The Red Spiders

Postby psychosomaticism » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:26 am UTC

If people ate x spiders in their sleep, would we not have reports of f(x) people dying due to spider ingestion/choking/the litter bugger bites you because your esophagus isn't spider country? I say it can be debunked because the alternative answer is more likely (yeah, so shoot me, that isn't really scientific), that very rarely does anyone have a spider crawl down the throat.

I mean, haven't they already been naturally selected against this sort of thing? Spiders get eaten all the time, you'd think that the ones that crawled into animal mouths during sleep would have been long ago sorted out. Mammals have been sleeping for a while, and spiders have a natural dislike of being eaten (as do most things).

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Re: The Red Spiders

Postby King Author » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:10 pm UTC

Mokele wrote:Spiders aren't like dust particles. They'll avoid going into someone's mouth - and those that don't will quickly be selected against.

That's why the Alpine Bacon Spider went extinct by 1500 BCE.
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Re: The Red Spiders

Postby CombustibleLemons » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:00 am UTC

wait wouldn't your epiglottis be set to breath not eat?
You, sir, name? wrote:Just make sure to consistently whack it in the ass, as that's one end it does not shoot fire out of. Be careless with the flame-magic and it may just shoot fire out both ends.

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Re: The Red Spiders

Postby poxic » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:05 am UTC

Spiders in your lungs, then? I think I'd notice something like that happening in my sleep (in my holycrapgottawakeupNOW, that is).
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Re: The Red Spiders

Postby MrGee » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:55 am UTC

I did see a news story about a kid who had spiders hatch in his ear.

Apparently it started to hurt because they were walking across his eardrum.

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