This is one of those kill-it-with-fire moments if there ever was one.
You know that story in Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the one about the girl who got bitten by a spider and finds a mysterious red bulge on her face, which keeps growing and growing until it bursts into a swarm of baby spiders? That pretty much just happened in real life when doctors in China discovered that a man who felt a creepy-crawly sensation in his left ear actually had a spider spinning a web in there.
What’s even freakier is that the spider managed to spin a web that covered the entire ear canal. Dr. Zhang Pan of the Affiliated Hospital of Yangzhou University found the arachnid making an unlikely home for itself when he peered into the patient’s ear through an endoscope. He caught the eight-legged intruder on video, because who wouldn’t want something this bizarre caught on video, and now on the internet forever?
At first all you see is the tube going down, pretty standard if you’re used to watching medical documentaries. Then things start to get Scary Stories levels of weird.
The spider is just hanging out right there by the guy’s eardrum. Webs are everywhere, making a human ear canal look like a dark corridor in a haunted house. It doesn't even seem to care that it’s being probed. In the video, it doesn't look like the web has actually caught anything yet, but you never know. You see what is Zhang’s hand trying to catch the critter with tweezers, but it takes off so fast he has to squirt it out with saline. It’s kind of like the itsy-bitsy spider and the water spout.
If this making you want to wear earplugs for the rest of your life, don’t stock up just yet — it’s rare for insects (or any animals) to take up residence in a living human. Just disregard the poor unfortunate soul who went to sleep and found she had a cockroach in her ear when she woke up.
Dr. Zhang’s patient suffered no damage to his eardrum since the invader was discovered quickly enough. As for the spider, it might be better off chilling in something that isn’t alive.
Should that patient be a glutton for punishment, the big-screen adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark opens wide Aug. 9.