Sleeping with the enemy…


One of the most frequent questions I’m asked as a writer is: where do you come up with the ideas for your plots and characters? Sure, some of the things I come up with can be assigned to the product of a warped mind, but the overwhelming majority of my themes and ideas just come from real-life and everyday occurrences. I’m fearful of a lot of things and some of those fears are rational – some, but by a very long way, not all!

I read this article two days ago on and thought it worthy of sharing – despite the grammar and punctuation errors. Before you read on, however, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very deep and restful sleep tonight.

IF YOU’RE not a fan of spiders, this statistic will have your skin crawling.

While we’ve been told time and time again that the “humble huntsman” is nothing to fear, the thought of having one crawl on your body — and face — while asleep would send even the most tolerant person into a tizz.

But according to Michael Tate, known as ‘Ranger Mick’ from the Australian Reptile Park on the NSW Central Coast, we all better get used to the reality of having the unwelcome guests in our bed.

“It’s very likely that someone may have had prey caught on their face by a huntsman. Bushy eyebrows are the perfect hunting ground for a spider,” Mick told 2UE radio hosts John Stanley and Garry Linnell.

“By the time you’re 35 years old, and if you’re living in Sydney, several huntsmen will have walked across your face during your sleep.

Bill Shear, the former president of the American Arachnological Society told Scientific American that spiders have absolutely zero interest in humans and “regard us much like they’d regard a big rock … We’re so large that we’re really just part of the landscape.”

But that’s the problem … we become part of the furniture which the hungry spiders have to crawl across to find their food.

“Huntsmen can walk across you and you wouldn’t know,” Ranger Mick added.

We saw the impact an unwelcome huntsman had on an 18-year-old Sydney woman who got so spooked by the spider in her car while driving, her Volkswagen ended up in the water. The woman, who wasn’t identified, jumped out of her car after the spider crawled on to her lap as she pulled up at the Bayview boat ramp in Rowland Reserve. While she leapt out of the driver’s seat “and started doing a spider dance”, her car edged towards the water, leaving her on the shore as it started to sink.

But despite their often large and hairy appearance, huntsman spiders are not considered to be dangerous spiders — and even make for valuable additions to your home.

“If you can cope with them, they are actually an asset in your home, and beneficial for taking care of the environment,” Ranger Mick said.

“They can eat quite large food items so they can tackle a cockroach.

“If you’re going to have a spider running around the house, make it a harmless huntsman. But they have very long legs, so they are able to jump.”

So if they’re using our face as a hunting ground, who’s to say they aren’t venturing into the mouths of those sleepers who snore?

Some experts say we will consumer three spiders a year while sound asleep, others say it’s closer to eight. But according to Rod Crawford, Curator of Arachnids at Seattle’s Burke Museum, to swallow even just one spider in your sleep, a number of very unlikely circumstances all have to happen at once — making it a very random event.

For a spider to go from your face, to your mouth and down into your stomach — five things would need to happen.

The first, Prof Crawford says, is that your mouth needs to be open. Then, the spiders have to get in your bed.

Third and fourth, the spider would have to just happen to cross your body where your mouth is and be so bold as to enter an orifice that’s exhaling warm breath.

“Just try blowing on a spider and see how they react to that!” Crawford told Mental Floss. “It’s not attractive to them!”

Finally, you’d have to swallow the spider while sleeping.

The odds are pretty clearly stacked against you swallowing any one spider, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like an adventure.


If you would like to read the full article for yourselves (complete with wonderfully graphic photos), here’s the link… also included the following addendum to the article:

Fear of spiders? Find out how to overcome arachnophobia.


gg… over and – pleasant dreams!


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