Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

What Lurks Under the Toilet Seat…. Fact or Fiction?

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "What Lurks Under the Toilet Seat…. Fact or Fiction?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What Lurks Under the Toilet Seat…

2 Fact or Fiction?

3 Story ONE Ambushed!

4 COURIER MAIL - Wednesday, 11 July, 2001: An Alice Springs man who was bitten on the bottom more than 20 times by a Red-back spider needed 16 doses of anti-venom to survive. Darren Meehan, 25, from Alice Springs, Australia believes he may have caught the Red-back spider in his jeans during a visit to an outside toilet. When he went to bed that night, it too ventured with him. While sleeping, he most likely turned over into a position that threatened or irritated the spider causing it to bite him. He claims to be a rather heavy sleeper and so did not feel the bite. The spider feeling threatened, kept attacking until he eventually switched positions. Mr. Meehan said he slept through the attack and it was not until the next morning that he found more than 20 angry red bite marks on his right buttock. Nearly 48 hours later, he was doubled over in extreme pain and taken to the hospital. Mr. Meehan now holds the record for the most anti-venom ever injected into a person in Australia. He was attacked by the Red-back spider as he lay sleeping in his bed in Alice Springs last month, but he was still getting shots of anti-venom on Monday as he has been unable to shake off the effects of the huge amount of poison in his system. The head of Alice Springs Hospital's emergency department said it was the worst Red- back bite ever recorded in Australia. Emergency physician, Dr. Elizabeth Mowatt said, "This is the biggest bite I know of on record." The most serious Red-back bite previously recorded only required eight doses of anti-venom. After a total of 20 anti-venom doses, Mr. Meehan is now recovering from his ordeal and the bites.

5 Story ONE Ambushed! Fact…..or …..Fiction?

6 Fact! Truth!

7 Story One: Ambushed! From as far as research can tell this gentleman’s story is true. From as far as research can tell this gentleman’s story is true. It was not published in a scientific journal, but was published in a local paper. The article can be found on: It was not published in a scientific journal, but was published in a local paper. The article can be found on:

8 The Spiders and Toxic Mechanism Spider 1 (from story 1): Red-back Spider Latrodectus hasselti

9 Latrodectus hasselti They are dangerous and can inject neurotoxin into bloodstream. They are dangerous and can inject neurotoxin into bloodstream. ~ 250 people/ year bitten by male Red-backs and only a few hundred by female Red-backs. Females are slow moving and generally leave no sign of web. The most common bites emerge when accidentally caught in clothes and then pressed against the person’s skin. ~ 250 people/ year bitten by male Red-backs and only a few hundred by female Red-backs. Females are slow moving and generally leave no sign of web. The most common bites emerge when accidentally caught in clothes and then pressed against the person’s skin. Only 1 death reported since anti-venom discovery in Only 1 death reported since anti-venom discovery in This is one of the few species where the male assists the female in sexual cannibalism. During mating the male will place its abdomen in the females mouth. The female will begin to cannibalize before mating is over. After mating the female will usually not mate again. This is one of the few species where the male assists the female in sexual cannibalism. During mating the male will place its abdomen in the females mouth. The female will begin to cannibalize before mating is over. After mating the female will usually not mate again. They make a good pet! In September of 2004, inmates at Grafton maximum security prison in New South Whales were found keeping Red-back spiders as pets. Supposedly they were milking them for their venom for a high but no evidence supports this theory. They make a good pet! In September of 2004, inmates at Grafton maximum security prison in New South Whales were found keeping Red-back spiders as pets. Supposedly they were milking them for their venom for a high but no evidence supports this theory. They are closely related to the black and brown widow spiders, found in North America, and katipo spiders. They are closely related to the black and brown widow spiders, found in North America, and katipo spiders. They are infamous and even have a song … They are infamous and even have a song …

10 Mechanism Similar mechanism to the Black widow neurotoxin: Latrotoxin Similar mechanism to the Black widow neurotoxin: Latrotoxin Targets the synaptic bulbs of the Acetyl Choline by dissolving in the synaptic bulbs of Acetyl Choline Neurons and allows Ca+ efflux Targets the synaptic bulbs of the Acetyl Choline by dissolving in the synaptic bulbs of Acetyl Choline Neurons and allows Ca+ efflux Ca+ ion is used by the body as a signal for a high action potential arriving. This conveys a message to release the neurotransmitter. Ca+ ion is used by the body as a signal for a high action potential arriving. This conveys a message to release the neurotransmitter. The neurotransmitter causes the synaptic gap to flood and bind with high affinity to Acetyl Choline, thus opening the ion channels. The neurotransmitter causes the synaptic gap to flood and bind with high affinity to Acetyl Choline, thus opening the ion channels.

11 Effects It causes hyper- excitability of muscle fibers and prolonged muscle contraction. It causes hyper- excitability of muscle fibers and prolonged muscle contraction. It is extremely painful and death can occur if not given anti-venom. (Usually spiders use dry bite or very little toxin). It is extremely painful and death can occur if not given anti-venom. (Usually spiders use dry bite or very little toxin). Death: Death: The diaphragm and abdominal muscles contract and can not relax  can not breathe  comma  Death The diaphragm and abdominal muscles contract and can not relax  can not breathe  comma  Death

12 Story TWO The Two-Striped Telamonia Spider

13 WARNING: From the University of North Florida An article by Dr. Beverly Clark, in the Journal of the United Medical Association (JUMA) The mystery behind a recent spate of deaths has been solved. If you haven't already heard about it in the news, here is what happened. Three women in north Florida turned up at hospitals over a 5-day period, all with the same symptoms. Fever, chills, and vomiting, followed by muscular collapse, paralysis, and finally death. There were no outward signs of trauma. Autopsy results showed toxicity in the blood. These women did not know each other, and seemed to have nothing in common. It was discovered, however, that they had all visited the same restaurant (Olive Garden) within days of their deaths. The health department descended on the restaurant, shutting it down. The food, water, and air conditioning were all inspected and tested, to no avail. The big break came when a waitress at the restaurant was rushed to the hospital with similar symptoms. She told doctors that she had been on vacation, and had only gone to the restaurant to pick up her check. She did not eat or drink while she was there, but had used the restroom. That is when one toxicologist, remembering an article he had read, drove out to the restaurant, went into the restroom, and lifted the toilet seat. Under the seat, out of normal view, was a small spider. The spider was captured and brought back to the lab, where it was determined to be the Two-Striped Telamonia (Telamonia dimidiata), so named because of its reddened flesh color. This spider's venom is extremely toxic, but can take several days to take effect. They live in cold, dark, damp climates, and toilet rims provide just the right atmosphere. Several days later a lawyer from Jacksonville showed up at a hospital emergency room. Before his death, he told the doctor, that he had been away on business, had taken a flight from Indonesia, changing planes in Singapore, before returning home. He did not visit Olive Garden, while there. He did, as did all of the other victims, have what was determined to be a puncture wound, on his right buttock. Investigators discovered that the flight he was on had originated in India. The Civilian Aeronautics Board (CAB) ordered an immediate inspection of the toilets of all flights from India, and discovered the Two-Striped Telamonia spider's nests on 4 different planes! It is now believed that these spiders can be anywhere in the country. So please, before you use a public toilet, lift the seat to check for spiders. It can save your life! And please pass this on to everyone you care about.

14 Story TWO The Two-Striped Telamonia Spider Fact…… or …… Fiction?

15 Fiction! Hoax! False!

16 This story is actually a re-produced story from a circulation, which was cleverly designed to replicate real places and names. This story has been replicated at least two times (once in 2002 and again in 2003). There are slight alterations made to this story in each tall tail: This story is actually a re-produced story from a circulation, which was cleverly designed to replicate real places and names. This story has been replicated at least two times (once in 2002 and again in 2003). There are slight alterations made to this story in each tall tail: 1.) The spider used: 1999 Story- South American Ambush Spider, Arachnius gluteus. A.K.A Blush Spider 2002 Story- Two-Striped Telamonia spider, Telamonia dimidiata Story- Two-Striped Telamonia spider, Telamonia dimidiata.

17 2.) The location of 3 women that were hospitalized: 1999 Story- Chicago 2002 Story- Florida 2003 Story- South Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 3.) Spider’s location in the U.S.: 1999 Story- Big Chappies at Blare Airport 2002 Story- Olive Garden 2003 Story- Hart's Family Restaurant 4.) Lawyer: 1999 Story- he took a flight from NYC and changed planes in Chicago Story- he took a plane from Indonesia and changed planes in Singapore Story- he was from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and took a flight from Clarks Sumit, changing planes in Wilkes-Barre.

18 5.) Flight Investigator's analysis of spider’s originality: 1999 Story- South America 2002 Story- India 2003 Story- India

19 The Culprit Steve Heard

20 The creator of the hoax contacted The University of California Department of Entomology. The following was taken from He wrote the hoax to show that 1) people are gullible, 2) that the internet is a frighteningly fast way to spread misinformation, 3) that people forward on information without checking the veracity of the information. He never expected this to spread so quickly and so widely. He wrote the hoax to show that 1) people are gullible, 2) that the internet is a frighteningly fast way to spread misinformation, 3) that people forward on information without checking the veracity of the information. He never expected this to spread so quickly and so widely. The hoax was purposely filled with incorrect information such that if the reader checked into any bit of the information, a red flag would arise because there would be no credibility to the citation of information (no medical journal with that name, there is no spider named Arachnius, there is no Blare Airport, etc.) The hoax was purposely filled with incorrect information such that if the reader checked into any bit of the information, a red flag would arise because there would be no credibility to the citation of information (no medical journal with that name, there is no spider named Arachnius, there is no Blare Airport, etc.) The account of the anatomy of the hoax is detailed in the following article: The account of the anatomy of the hoax is detailed in the following article: Vetter, R. S. and P. K. Visscher Oh, what a tangled web we weave: the anatomy of an internet spider hoax. American Entomologist 46: Vetter, R. S. and P. K. Visscher Oh, what a tangled web we weave: the anatomy of an internet spider hoax. American Entomologist 46:

21 Evidence: Hoax Claim vs. Reality ClaimHoaxReality Published Article Journal of United Medical Association Journal of the American Medical Association (JUMA)(JAMA) Spiders under Spiders Under Commercial Airline Any public and or commercial restroom must airplane toilet seats toilet seats. abide by code and use chemicals in their lavatories, which are not compatible for spider survival. Airline Inspectors Civilian Aeronautics Board (CAB) Civil Aeronautics Board- abolished in 1984 Tone of article Gossipy, casual, informal style COME ON! When have you ever read an article published by a journal that you didn't have to get a dictionary to understand? Deaths 3 female mortalities No article in any Florida, Chicago, or Pennsylvania paper relating to 3 consecutive spider bite deaths/ spiders on an airplane between Table 1: Data provided by SDSTAFF Doug: Straight Dope Science Advisory Board.

22 The Spider and Toxic Mechanism Spider 2 (from story 2): South American Ambush Spider, Arachnius gluteus. A.K.A Blush Spider Any similarities… Gluteus maximus

23 Arachnius gluteus This spider does not actually exist. There is no spider named : Arachnius gluteus This spider does not actually exist. There is no spider named : Arachnius gluteus The creator of the initial fabricated story in 1999 was attempting to be witty and humorous by having a spider that bites people on the butt have the name Arachnius gluteus, Arachnius meaning spider, and gluteus pertaining to the butt. The creator of the initial fabricated story in 1999 was attempting to be witty and humorous by having a spider that bites people on the butt have the name Arachnius gluteus, Arachnius meaning spider, and gluteus pertaining to the butt. This butt spider is a fabricated spider. This butt spider is a fabricated spider.

24 The Spiders and the Toxic Mechanisms Spider 3 (from story 2): Two-Striped Telamonia spider, Telamonia dimidiata.

25 Telamonia dimidiata This is in fact a real spider. However, its venom is not poisonous. (Hence there will be no mechanism). This is in fact a real spider. However, its venom is not poisonous. (Hence there will be no mechanism). Family: Salticidae (Jumping Spiders) Family: Salticidae (Jumping Spiders) Habitat: Foliage in wooded areas Habitat: Foliage in wooded areas Distribution: Singapore, Indonesia, and India Distribution: Singapore, Indonesia, and India Male: 8-9mm The 1 st and 2 nd legs are armed with thick bristles Female 9-11mm

26 Taken Home Message Most toilet seats have chemicals in them that hinder spiders from infesting them. Most toilet seats have chemicals in them that hinder spiders from infesting them. If you find yourself in a rural setting, or having to use an old Australian “dunny” than lifting up the toilet seat might not be such a bad idea. If you find yourself in a rural setting, or having to use an old Australian “dunny” than lifting up the toilet seat might not be such a bad idea. Not all the information on the internet is fact. Not all the information on the internet is fact.

27 THE END This production has been brought to you by: This production has been brought to you by: Tara Kraus

28 References and Pictures Doug The Straight Dope Science Advisory Board Doug The Straight Dope Science Advisory Board Christensen, Brett M. Hoax-Slayers. Christensen, Brett M. Hoax-Slayers. Koh, Joseph K. H A Guide to Common Singapore Spiders. BP Guide to Nature Series. Koh, Joseph K. H A Guide to Common Singapore Spiders. BP Guide to Nature Series. The University of California Entomology Department Online The University of California Entomology Department Online SpiderzRule. SpiderzRule. Wilson, David. T he University of Queensland Wilson, David. T he University of Queensland (dunny picture 1) (dunny picture 1) (dunny road sign) (dunny road sign) (toilet pictures and butt images) (toilet pictures and butt images)


Download ppt "What Lurks Under the Toilet Seat…. Fact or Fiction?"

Similar presentations


Ads by Google