One Man's Gory Tale of A Spider Laying Eggs in His Toe Might Not Be True


Nov. 30 2023, Published 12:42 p.m. ET

A man clutches his foot in pain.
Source: iStock

Although cruises far from the most eco-friendly way to vacation, one British man's time off didn't exactly go as planned. Post-cruise, the man went viral for claiming that during his trip, a spider laid eggs in his toe. Not only is this story gory enough to put us off cruises forever, but it made audiences everywhere wonder if that were even possible.

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However, biologists later told Business Insider that this man's claims couldn't be accurate, refuting his story. So how did this story go viral, terrifying people around the world? Read on for everything you need to know.

A man relaxing on a cruise.
Source: Getty Images
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A man on a cruise claims a spider laid eggs in his toe.

The BBC was the first to report cruise passenger Colin Blake’s claims that a spider had laid eggs in his toe while he was on vacation in France. Blake claimed and his wife were on a cruise to celebrate their anniversary, and he woke up one morning with a toe that was swollen and purple.

Blake said the ship’s medical team told him a Peruvian wolf spider had bitten him and that there were spider eggs in the pus they cleaned out of the wound after cutting his toe open.

The BBC article initially reported that, four weeks after Blake was back home in the United Kingdom and his toe had been treated with antibiotics, the toe had to be cut open again for doctors to clean out a spider still inside.

"One of the spider eggs hadn't been flushed and must have hatched," Blake told the outlet. "They believe the spider was making its way out - eating its way out of my toe."

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Person with a bandaged toe.
Source: iStock

Biologists told 'Business Insider' that the man's claims were inaccurate.

"Spiders do not lay eggs in other organisms. Not humans, not any other organisms," biologist Lena Grinsted with the University of Portsmouth told Business Insider.

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"The whole story does not make any biological sense," biologist Sara Goodacre told Business Insider. As a spider expert who created an app for identifying creepy crawlers, Goodacre has never even heard of a “Peruvian” wolf spider.

She said Blake’s toe injury may have had nothing to do with a spider. "The world around us is full of things that could make a little puncture mark. And the key thing is that totally fits the story. What absolutely doesn't fit, is the spider story," Goodacre added.

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The BBC changed its story after the man’s claims were debunked.

Before you get too grossed out, you should know that the original reporting of this disgusting story has been debunked after Business Insider talked to biologists. The BBC has since admitted that the article “fell below its expected editorial standards,” and they edited the original story, Business Insider reported.

I’m sure you’ve heard a similar story about spiders laying eggs in some unsuspecting person, with the baby spiders hatching out of their skin like a scene from the movie Alien. The myth that spiders lay eggs in humans when they bite is an urban legend that has been circulating for years, per the Burke Museum in Seattle.

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