Three brothers from Bolivia have been sent to the hospital after letting a black widow spider bite them in the hopes of becoming ‘Spider-Men’.
The boys, aged eight, ten, and twelve live in the town of Chayanta, in the southwestern Bolivian department of Potosi.
These youngsters, who have not been named, are clearly fans of the popular Marvel superhero movie, where Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and develops super spider-like abilities. What they didn’t know at that time is that what they watched is all pure fiction.
While tending to their flock of sheep, the boys found a black widow spider and quickly and came up with the idea of letting it bite them so they can develop superpowers.
Reports said their mother was out collecting wood at that time, while the brothers taunted the black widow using a stick and allowed it to sink its fangs into their skin. Instead of developing powers like what they expected, they quickly started to develop symptoms from the venomous bites, such as muscle pain and spasms, abdominal cramps, and increased heart rate.
According to several studies, a black widow spider is known to be extremely venomous, with their venom reported to be 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake.
Despite this fact, most people who got bitten by the spiders do not usually suffer from any serious damage, though studies also suggest the venom can be fatal to small children, the elderly, or the infirm.
Studies also say that black widows are typically non-aggressive and only bite in self-defense, which may explain why the young brothers had to provoke this particular spider with a stick.
Their mother was shocked when she found her sons crying, so she quickly brought them to the Chayanta health center where they were given medicine for the bites.
Days after their conditions failed to improve, they were then taken to a hospital in the town of Llallagua before being transferred to the Children’s Hospital in the Bolivian capital La Paz.
The Head of Epidemiology of the Health Ministry, Virgilio Pietro, said in a statement that the young boys continued to suffer from muscle pains, sweating, fever, and generalized trembling until they were treated with a specific serum, which proved effective.
In five days, their health began to improve and was allowed to go back home to their family.
At a press conference, Pietro, who discussed the case, urged parents to help and guide their children understand certain differences between fact and fiction, saying:
“For children everything is real, films are real, dreams could be real, and they (children) are the hope of our life.”
These young kids may still wish to be superheroes, but hopefully, they will now learn that their wish won’t come true if they keep letting venomous spiders bite them to get their origin story.