Daddy Longlegs/Deadly

posted: 04/11/12
Read more Read less
As seen in "MythBusters: Buried in Concrete"

Finding: BUSTED

Explanation: There are more than 40,000 spider species crawling around the world, but only a fraction of arachnids pack toxic venom. Sydney funnel-webs, Brazilian wandering spiders and black widows rank among the deadliest eight-legged critters, but MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage heard that daddy longlegs are lethal as well.

Supposedly, daddy longlegs possess extremely powerful poison, but their fangs are too short to penetrate human skin. To find out, Jamie and Adam hunted down a host of daddy longlegs and took them to a spider specialist who could milk out their venom. Next, the spider specialist compared the toxicity of daddy longlegs venom to black widow venom. The red-bellied widow won out, busting the myth.

A microscopic measurement of the long-legged spider's fangs proved their miniscule quarter-millimeter length could puncture human skin, taking a double bite out of the daddy longlegs myth.

More on