Can you imagine? You go to eat a banana only to discover that they’re infested with deadly Brazilian spiders hatching from eggs.
43-year-old Maria Layton was giving her six-year-old daughter a banana when she noticed the cocoon of a Brazilian wandering spider on the fruit. Her husband had picked up the bunch of bananas earlier from Tesco, a grocery store in the U.K.
The spiders — whose Greek name means ‘murderess,’ according to The Daily Mail — have the most toxic venom in the world. Their bite causes serious injury, and in some cases even death… along with painful, four-hour erections. Ouch.
The cocoon supposedly could have contained hundreds of spiders, The Daily Mail reports. It’s a possibility the arachnids were exported along with the bananas, which were shipped from Costa Rica to the supermarket.
Layton, from Bristol in South West England, made the discovery while fetching a snack for her daughter, Siri.
“My husband bought the bananas from Tesco, they had been in the house a whole day before I ripped the bag open,” the mother said. “Siri asked for a banana. The first banana had a funny bit on it, so I got another one for her and that was when I found the massive spider cocoon. There was a spider web on the other bananas too.”
“I recognized it because I remembered seeing a news story about them, so when I saw the cocoon it rang a bell and I thought I should check it so I Googled it. I went through the images and there was an image which looked very similar to mine.”
“I was so scared – I don’t like spiders at the best of times, but have read about the Brazilian wandering spiders – and was very frightened about the potential threat. The spider cocoon started to unfurl so I put it in a sealed box and put it in the freezer as I read that that is supposed to kill them.”
Brazilian wandering spiders are mainly active during the night, but during the day they sometimes hide inside banana plants hence the nickname: ‘banana spider.’
Layton called Tesco’s customer services department, but they told her to return the infested bananas to the supermarket herself.
“Tesco were a bit useless, I was really concerned about the possibility of this dangerous spider and spider eggs in my house and really wanted some helpful advice on how to act,” Layton said. “I posted the picture on Tesco Facebook page and they told me to send the wrapper in so they could get the bar-code to refund me.”
“They failed to see the potential threat to me and my family and thought I was only interested in having a pound or so back.”
A Tesco spokesman said: “We’ve apologised to Mrs Layton and offered a gesture of goodwill. We’ve asked her to return the product to our store so we can conduct a full investigation.”