The notion of spiders clambering into our orifices while we sleep may sound like the purview of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, but for a one "Ms. Lee" who visited China's Changsha Central Hospital yesterday, it was a shudder-worthy reality.
Straight from the Hunan province, a photograph of an arachnid curled up in a woman's ear, everyone! Yay! Now, pass the damn caulk gun. (Yes, I realize I'm giving up Stevie Wonder for this.)
As for the specifics of Ms. Lee's ordeal, she woke up five days prior to her hospital visit with an itchy ear canal. After medical photography discovered her head's new tenant, doctors flushed the animal out with a saline solution because they were scared the little guy might dig his barbs in deeper if prodded. Swish that around your brainpan for a minute.
This is neither the first nor last time a spider will try to use a slumbering human body as a Discovery Zone. Years ago, I awoke to a spider using my muttonchops as a hedge maze, and here's a 2004 report about a sleeping woman who was kissed on the lips by a brown recluse (she survived).
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And if spiders aren't jumping into your sundry crevasses, a dirty centipede might drop on by and bless you with facial paralysis. (To quote the study, "It's quite possible that this insect was carrying some necrotic debris and introduced the ubiquitous fungus via traumatic inoculation into the patient's ear canal.")
Finally, there's this tidbit from a 2003 article from the American Journal of Ophthalmology (via Improbable Research):
A 46-year-old man presented with a painful and inflamed eye after contents of a spider got into his right eye when he squashed the spider with a newspaper. He suffered immediate severe pain in the eye, which rapidly became red and swollen. He had conjunctival edema and periorbital swelling of the eye and severe photophobia.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to invest in Q-Tip futures.
Completely Unrelated: Stan "The Man" Griffin's "Spider-Dance Spider-Man Theme Song," a sweet spider-jam that will massage your eardrums.