9 disturbing scientific facts

I was going to say we needed a break after a rather heavy news day, but am not entirely sure if this video counts as a “break.”

Take this fact about the Brazilian wandering spider. It’s apparently the most venomous spider in the world. And….


I’m a bit creeped out now!

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • evan_la

    Memoranda and agenda are the two that irk me. It’s an agendum and a memorandum.

  • BillFromDover

    Aw, look how cute. Is he just glad to see Mitch?

  • Thom Allen

    Nah. What’s really creepy is Mitch McConnell’s johnson. I’m told it looks a lot like John

    Boehner’s boner.

  • AnitaMann

    These things get to me too. Other plural words: media, and data (singular: medium and datum). They’re used as singular so often that now the correct usage sounds wrong. I give up.

  • Maybe so!

    Pretty sure I’d have clicked on “Boner of Death!!!” even before the big Paula Deen story, but of course that’s just me.

  • pappyvet

    Wow, one hardon and you cash in… talk about a bad relationship.

  • Cletus
  • As a Buddhist, water is not what I think the human body is a bag of…at least not when I’m thinking of politicians…

  • Hey, if we could train the spiders to bite on command, would we need a prescription for them? And if they’re Brazilian spiders, could they be trained to …. um… mow the front lawn?

  • Indigo

    I meant the spiders but okay . . .

  • Indigo

    Or as we learned from the original Star Trek: “Ugly bags of water!”

  • the people or the treatment? I mean, did you mean Oh, those people or OH! Stop that!


  • HeartlandLiberal

    By the way, most people continue to be blissfully ignorant of the fact that we human beings are actually pretty much bags of protoplasm designed and evolved under the direction of bacteria for the history of our species and ancestors to provide a life support system for bacteria. Quoting from one article:

    So see!? There is intelligent design in the universe after all. And those same designer bacteria are now evolving rapidly to avoid the effects of the antibiotics we humans have stupidly over used, thus progressively rendering them ineffective.

    The human body carries more than 100 trillion bacteria – up to five
    pounds of the tiny single-celled organisms. The mouth alone has several
    hundred species of bacteria. Each tooth is its own ecosystem.

    Together, all of the bacteria in the body would be the size of a large liver, and
    in many ways, scientists say, the microbiome behaves as another organ
    in the human body.”

  • HeartlandLiberal

    Nice video, minor quibble. The word bacteria is plural. “Bacteria ARE
    gaining on us”. Bacterium is singular. One bacterium is; many bacteria
    are. Brought to you by the grammar police. Note for those who want to
    quibble that in the sentence “the word bacteria is”, word is the
    subject. By ellipsis, you could correctly say “bacteria is plural”, as
    long as it is clearly understood you mean the word.

  • Indigo

    Oh, those Brazilians!

  • rerutled

    What’s interesting to me is that this list of “disturbing scientific facts” was clearly chosen to make one feel physically vulnerable. It’s a calibrated entertainment, relying upon the fact that people are emotionally transfixed by threats. And *that* to me is an interesting scientific fact.

    As animals we are extremely vulnerable in the natural world (consider, for example, what life would be like if tomorrow, everyone went barefoot); and yet we have almost doubled our life expectancy and vastly improved our quality of life over the past few centuries through application of scientific discoveries in biology and physics; and much of this knowledge has been achieved almost casually, through application of no more than a couple of percent of the total efforts of humanity. That, to me, contains inspiration: it says we love each other enough to work to apply our knowledge to make all our lives happier.

  • cole3244

    the blue pill has met its match.

  • benb

    Oh, yeah, baby…I’ve been bitten and you’re the only one around who can suck the poison out.

  • jixter

    So am I.

  • There’s a large species of centipede native to my area, come across them rather often when I go out hiking. Not something you want to mess with. Mean and they have an attitude problem. :)

    In general though, venoms are fascinating compounds. The peptide in the wandering spider venom that causes priapism is actually being investigated for its potential as an erectile dysfunction drug. Venom of gila monsters is used for diabetes treatment. Deathstalker scorpion venom is used in the treatment of brain cancers. Among many other types of venom. They’re so marvelously complex, that we’ve barely scratched the surface in the potential medical uses for the various compounds found within them, and every species’ venom is different. There is even evidence of differentiation within species, varying by locality. So who knows what may come out of venom research in the future. Assuming the anti-science nutsos around the country don’t put the people who keep and breed those animals in laboratory settings to get proper and usable samples out of business, out of fear.

  • Perhaps I should make that the title…

  • The centipede at the end got me :) Give me a cat leaping off a balcony, any day :)

  • Pricknick

    You’re easily creeped John.

  • DRoseDARs

    I …want… to watch the video, but when you open with “This spider gives you a Boner of Death” it gives me pause…

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