A man was left with a hole in his leg and was unable to walk after he was bitten by a false black widow spider. (Warning: The images below are graphic.)
Matt Clarke said he woke up one day with a "tingly sensation" after being bitten by the small brown spider, but initially ignored it. In the days that followed, Clarke had severe pain after the bite burst open and pus dripped out and down his leg.
"I've been in the Army for 10 years, I've been all over the world and slept next to more dangerous spiders and never got bit," the man told the Daily Mail. "But I got bit in my own bed."
When the pain started, Clarke said he suddenly felt a burning sensation and something dripping down his leg.
"I then checked it out and the bite area had burst open -- it was a hole I could see my muscles through," he said. "I couldn't understand why the bite wasn't healing so I tried to find answers. I researched spiders and my symptoms, and I [realized] I had been bitten by a 'false black widow.'"
Clarke from Mansfield, England, went to the hospital, where doctors confirmed his condition and some experts called the bite "toxic."
False widows have shiny, black bodies and thick legs, the Daily Mail reports. The spider is often confused with the black widow, which has a nasty bite.
The site said that if someone gets bitten by a false widow, the first thing to do is wash the area with soap and water to avoid an infection. Cover the bite and apply an antihistamine to relieve inflammation, and the effects of the bite should go away after a few days.
"I was bitten by one of these, this is an extreme case though," one Daily Mail reader commented in response to the story. "Mine basically looked like a blister, at first i though I burnt myself. Then it exploded [pus] over the wall of my [apartment]. I merely prodded it, it was absolutely hanging. I was left like this with two holes, I have a dark looking circle on my leg and its been there 2 years. I hope it will go, I don't think it will."
"Last summer we watched a huge Hornet fly into a web of one of these false widows and it was killed in about 30 seconds in a vicious attack....amazing to watch but reminds you how potent these things can be...if worried don't leave your window open at night otherwise these could crawl across your face....Noticed that these nest on the outside of our widow frames," another wrote.
"That is so sad," one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page.