Nobody really likes dealing with creepy crawlies and pests, but just like family members you don’t like and the looming specter of death that hangs over us all, sometimes you just have to confront them. If, like most people, you harbor no love for things with too many legs or that carry immense amounts of disease, here are 10 stories of horrifying insect and pest infestations to make you feel a little better about that large spider you found in the bath that one time.
10. Mazda keeps making cars that spiders love making nests in
If that Simpsons episode where Homer designs a car taught us anything it’s that people look for different things when buying an automobile. However, we’d hazard a guess and say that a feature everyone looks for when buying a car is that it should be spider-free. Mazda apparently didn’t get this memo and released a number of cars that for some reason, spiders seemed to love making nests in.
The problem was first discovered in 2011 when owners of the Mazda 6 noticed that spiders liked making nests in the car’s fuel and vent lines. It would later emerge that, due to a manufacturing oversight, a small crack leading to the car’s gas line could be circumvented by yellow sac spiders, which are known to be attracted to the scent of gasoline and “other hydrocarbons.” Mazda recalled the cars and sealed the crack, only for the spiders to find their way back in. As if having to drive with the knowledge that thousands of spiders could be chilling mere feet away from you wasn’t bad enough, the spiders made nests so large they could potentially cause the engine to catch fire. While there’s no evidence of any Mazda succumbing to a spider-related fire, would you buy a car knowing that it was full of spiders and also might randomly erupt in flames?
Executives for the company seemed baffled that spiders kept making nests in their cars, with one matter-of-factly saying he wanted nothing to do with the issue because he was scared of them. But here’s the best part: after multiple attempts to solve the problem, Mazda issued a software update some gleefully reported on as being a “literal bug fix.” To be clear, the fix didn’t get rid of the spiders, it just made it so that the engine wouldn’t overheat and catch fire. Which, to be honest, we think is worse because at least if the car caught on fire it’d take the spiders with it.
9. For a few days in a small town in Brazil it literally rained spiders
Imagine waking up one morning and looking out of your window to see a thin sheet of white covering your neighborhood and specks of pearly white silk dropping from the sky. After throwing on your hat and gloves you walk outside to enjoy the snow, only to realize that, wait… you’re in the middle of Brazil. After looking closer at the “snow” you realize that it’s actually spider silk and those little flecks of Colgate-white sleet you thought was snow are actually millions of spiders raining from the sky. Believe it or not this isn’t something from a crappy Arachnophobia sequel you never saw, but something that actually happened to a small town in Brazil called Santo Antonio da Platina in 2013.
The spider rain, as it was called by no less of an authority than the freaking Smithsonian, was noted by biologists as being a perfectly natural, if not unusual, phenomenon likely caused by a freak gust of wind blowing spiders from a nearby forest a couple of miles away from their home. Residents of the town seemed relatively non-plussed about thumb-sized spiders falling from the sky, as this video handily demonstrates. Warning, do not click that video (or watch the one above) unless you want to spend the rest of the day feeling itchy.