My goal is to show that most spiders won't even bite a person, and if they do, that the effects are usually very mild.

I also like to try out various insect stings and document the effects.

I do NOT experiment with spider bites of known medical significance, ie black widows and brown recluses.

My latest bite test (sorry for the ads, but they pay the bills)

Hobo spider bite test

Caterpillar sting test


Edit: WHY/HOW did I get this job? In my exploits in jungles, spiders have always been there to eat the biting, stinging, sucking insects that can ruin your day. Nevertheless I used to be pretty afraid of them. But as I learned more about them I realized their bad rap is undeserved. So I wanted to do something to demonstrate how unwilling they are to bite people. I'm self-employed in this regard.

Edit 2: Losing my internet connection up here (rural Jefferson County, CO) and may not be back for a few hours - but I will keep answering your questions as soon as I can!

Comments: 216 • Responses: 77  • Date: 

StopCannibalismNow88 karma

At what age did you realize that you were masochistic?

quaoarpower62 karma

Oh, 15 or so, when I did the "cutting" thing because a girl didn't like me back.

StopCannibalismNow32 karma

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope dealing with spiders has helped you deal with any afflictions.

quaoarpower48 karma

Sure has! Also, I faced death in the Indonesian jungle and realized I have a lot to live for.

Bungus_King16 karma

Well shit, now you have to elaborate on that story!

quaoarpower65 karma

I'm writing a book about my jungle escapes right now, so I don't want to give too much away. But I got lost in a jungle on the island of Sulawesi, panicked, injured myself on thorns etc, then decided to float down a river to find help. At the end of the river was a bay and I got picked up by Bugis fishermen, and had to make a deal with them for a ride back up the river to get my backpack/passport/money and then a ride to a town. Bonus: caught malaria!

temporaryescape50 karma

How much are spiders paying you for this?

quaoarpower72 karma

Enough silk to make a circus tent, yo.

rectumbreaker9 karma

I was thinking of a different form of payment out of their butts.

quaoarpower14 karma

You mean like silken dollars?

MaxPowers898830 karma

What spider had the worst bite?

quaoarpower42 karma

Great question, and there's not a good single answer for you. The Sydney funnel web spider has a very potent bite, but so do the Brazilian Wandering spider and some of the South American recluse spiders.

Deaths from spider bites are extremely rare.

ball_zout18 karma

I think he was asking which spider that you've been bitten by was most uncomfortable. Awesome videos by the way!

quaoarpower28 karma


The most uncomfortable a spider has ever made me was when one of my tarantulas brushed its stingy ass hairs into my hand. Ouch!

ball_zout13 karma

EEP. I'm not gonna lie, as a bug nerd you're my youtube hero and I'm pretty stoked that you replied to me. Have you checked out /r/whatisthisbug or /r/spiders? Pretty cool community of bug/spider nerds over there.

quaoarpower11 karma

Thanks friend, those subs do seem intriguing!

MaxPowers898810 karma

Have you ever let a bullet ant sting/bite you?

quaoarpower15 karma

No, but I would definitely try it! I've had the piss stung out of me by army ants, wasps, hornets, etc. Not too fun, but I'd do it for Science.

MissMayIhelpyou14 karma

How did you get this job. Did you just watch that scene from spiderman ,and you said "shit I want to do that" ?

quaoarpower13 karma

It's self employment. Did you see those tiresome ads before the videos? I get some revenues off that, which enable me to continue to produce content.

An answer more from the spirit, though, is that I have gotten so stung and scratched up and bitten during my travels that I don't fear this kind of pain anymore. I'm not just hurting myself for upvotes, though it may smack of it, but I'm doing it in controlled conditions as a demonstration. I really feel like spiders have gotten an ill rap, and I think these visceral displays will help tamp down some of the paranoia. And let me just bring it back to the jungle here - I had these amazing connective experiences with the life-forms there, spiders and moonrats among them, and the whole "shared energy" thing as trite as it may sound really resonated for me. 99.9% of my bites in the jungle were insects, and lots of them bit bloody holes out of me and made me sick - and through all that, the spiders were relentlessly maoing down hordes of the bugs all the time. So now that I know how cool and friendly all the ones are that I used to smash, I feel like it's honorable to return the favor and try to help people understand they don't need to kill harmless, helpful eight-legged anti-pest elves.

MissMayIhelpyou5 karma

Did not watch the videos ,but I will tomorrow when I get up for school. Another question ,which spiders in México do you like ,and have you traveled here before?

quaoarpower15 karma

Solo como turisto con mis abuelos. Estudiaba bichos de agua en Arizona, cerca de la frontera, y tuvi algunos especimenes de Chihuahua, pero no he visitado como ciencia o explorador. Me gustaria estudiar las idiomas diferentes de primera gente.

Zbignich12 karma

Do you own the specimens in your videos? How many spiders do you own? What do you feed them?

quaoarpower13 karma

I own two spiders, the ones that were on America's Got Talent with me. They're both Chilean Rosehair tarantulas. The other ones I either put in my permanent collection (in jars of alcohol) or I let them go.

I feed my tarantulas crickets and worms.

temporaryescape32 karma

or I let them go.

You must be a neighborhood favorite

quaoarpower13 karma

Actually I try to help the neighborhood by being informative and helpful

Farrarzard11 karma

Is there really a need for this job? Not to be rude, I was just under the impression that reactions from all these spider bites were well-documented.

quaoarpower27 karma

Not rude at all, and good question. Actually, spider bite reactions are so badly documented that doctors are unable to accurately diagnose whether something is a spider bite or not. And, I think you'll admit that there is a widespread belief that spider bites occur frequently, even though very few people have actually seen a spider biting a human being. I'm trying to dispel the rumors.

Farrarzard8 karma

I did watch the Mythbusters episode where they were testing Daddy Long Legs to see if they would 1. Bite and 2. Be the most venomous spiders in existence. The myth was proved wrong on both counts. They eventually got the Daddy Long Legs to bite them by putting about 100 in a jar and sticking their hand into it. Makes me shudder just thinking about it.

Props to you for filling a hole in our scientific understanding of the world, good sir.

quaoarpower16 karma

Thanks! And just to be clear, the daddly longlegs in the Mythbuster episode was a true spider and not a harvestman - harvestmen have no venom at all, but some of them can throw little sticky stinkballs at you!

ImNotSupposedToTeach5 karma

Medical student here. Spend most of my time telling people that they probably don't have a spider bite. Very frustrating. Any idea how to fix this?

quaoarpower10 karma

Well, comrade, you are one of the few people in medicine to even ask the question. I guess you try to find the line between asking them if they saw a spider biting them and trying to tell them that what they believe is wrong. You can also try to tell them that they probably wouldn't sleep through a spider bite ( most reports allege the bite happened during sleep) any more than they would sleep through rolling over onto a tack. Idk, friend, there's no simple answer because you're asking people to challenge their own cherished belief .

MG8710 karma

You have never had an allergic reaction to a spider bite?

quaoarpower14 karma

Nope! I had a much worse reaction to a recent leech bite, that caused the whole bite area to swell up and get hard for several days.

PhillipCarey5 karma

Wouldn't every bite from a spider that swells even a little technically be an allergic reaction, but on a small scale?

quaoarpower15 karma

Hmm, I may be overstepping my authority here, but I think an allergic reaction is when the body mistakes something for a pathogen. You can have swellings as a result of mechanical damage, without any real or fake pathogens involved.

But let's see if anyone else chimes in, because this is an interesting question that I don't really know the answer to.

PhillipCarey7 karma

I did not mean to pose that question authoratatively I was just genuinely curious!

quaoarpower12 karma

Hey, that's why we come to /r/iama - curiosity! I want to know too now.

LingtheMing9 karma

Alright man. I live in Upstate NY. Nothing big up here im guessing. My question is. How do I keep spiders away from me. Cabins, houses near the lake, etc. shit is so annoying. And lastly. Tell us more about brown recluse spiders. Are they aggressive and what are the chances they bite you when you sleep? (My mom lives in Austin). Thanks man. Sweet job!

quaoarpower11 karma

Upstate NY has some big spiders, like this Fishing spider from Onadoga County. But nothing at all to worry about.

Ways to keep spiders out: clear out closets and corners, sweep stuff up through the whole cabin, put screens on the windows, and so on. Spiders are there to eat pests, not torment you, so if you can control the pest population yourself, then the spiders will seek a more slovenly house to inhabit.

As for the brown recluse, if you'd be so kind as to endure an advertisement, I shall inform you. They are not aggressive and unlikely to be anywhere near your bed, except by accident.

JazzFan4187 karma

Spider bite tester for who? Do you have a degree? Are you a professor ? Are you contracted or given grant money for research through a local University? What qualifies you as a "Tester" and not a guy on Youtube who catches spiders and films them biting him. Not being sarcastic or insulting but I've always wondered this about you.

quaoarpower15 karma

Getting down to brass tacks, eh? Cool. I have MSc from Oregon State, I studied giant waterbugs, and until recently I dissected moth penises for a government lab. I am not associated with a university and am entirely self-funded.

I'm going for a more "junior high science project" vibe. Obviously the scientific approach would be to have numerous repetitions on a variety of subjects to try to describe a typical reaction. But because the University is not paying me to do this, I'm doing an n=1 demonstration of what the spider's behavior is during a single stressed encounter. I'm not testing what the bite is like so much as I am testing what the spider will do. Does that answer your question?

justeeee6 karma

I'm a little afraid to click your links, so can you tell me more about the caterpillar sting test? Caterpillars are one of the last animals I would ever expect to bite me so I was surprised to see them mentioned. Did that bite hurt? If so, do all caterpillars have a bite like that, or just some?

quaoarpower9 karma

Caterpillars usually don't bite, and if they do, it's unlikely to be any worse than a light pinch. But many of them are chemically defended by poisonous spines (just a picture, no video)

PhotographyIsAmazing5 karma

I love jumping spiders. Their eyes are so cute and they usually pose well for the camera. I let them crawl on me all the time and I've never been bitten. What has been your experience with jumpers?

quaoarpower3 karma

Cheerful, curious and clever. Some of the bigger ones are a bit more reluctant to interact, but none have ever bitten me.

11microbe5 karma

I live in Perth, Australia, where every piece of outdoor furniture has a red back under it unless you have just cleaned it. Definitely the most dangerous common local spider. I've never been worried because they are everywhere, and noone ever seems to get bitten. Can you anything about this spider?

quaoarpower5 karma

Great question, and here's a good informative thread about redbacks with some citations. Turns out they're potentially dangerous, but effective antivenin has been around for decades.

TalkForeignToMe5 karma

How do you agitate the spiders to bite you if they don't do it on their own?

Also, your disclaimer about the ads somehow makes me accept them.

quaoarpower8 karma

Thanks! At least they're not advertising insecticide and exterminators like they used to.

I agitate the spiders by convincing them I intend them harm, without actually harming them. I have no wish to make a video about being cruel to a spider. So I gently hold their legs, or apply pressure to them, or tweak their faces with a paintbrush.

Most spiders have fangs that point in toward each other, which makes biting a big mammal pretty tough.

lurkatworknomore5 karma

What was the most painful spider-bite you have had? Also, do you have to take breaks in-between getting bit?

quaoarpower9 karma

This gal. She was not interested in being held. And it was not from venom, but from mechanical damage - like freakin' scimitars going into my finger. She bit through a plastic paintbrush later. But it just bled a bit and was sore, no lasting damage.

RickettyRicketyGlock5 karma

Wait.. Why does this spider have 10 legs? Am I missing something? Can some spiders have 10 legs?

quaoarpower3 karma

It's 8 legs and 2 pedipalps, which look way more like legs in the primitive spider families.

RickettyRicketyGlock1 karma

That's really interesting! If their pedipalps look more like legs in primitive spider families could it have been that spiders once HAD 10 legs and evolution changed that?

quaoarpower1 karma

That's exactly right - both spiders and insects are theorized to descend from critters that had lots of legs, like centipedes.

DeadSeriousNotReally5 karma

Are you a fan of David Attenborough??

quaoarpower12 karma

Yes! I met him at AMNH-SWRS when he showed up an hour before dinner. I was a volunteer there and on food prep, so I dished myself out a plate of food before everyone came in. Sir David and his crew of 4 came in first, served themselves off the buffet, and the cameraman was toting his huge piece - and me being a camera buff, I wanted to know the maximum frame rate (30000fps!) and some other stuff, which he was happy to chat about, and when he started to sit down at one of the tables, I asked if I could join him, and then Sir David sat down right across from me! He shared a bottle of wine with me and we talked about vinegaroon love. He was there to do some ant and wasp segments from Life in the Undergrowth. He said I was an extrordnray fellow, and I was quite chuffed, but then I noticed he used the word extrordnray in nearly every video. He was great, very friendly, very sharp.

dawsnow5 karma

Have you ever considered irradiating a spider before having it bite you?

quaoarpower9 karma

Sometimes I put them in the sun, which technically counts as irradiation.

7x135 karma

Any spider you're actually afraid of getting bitten by?

Ever come across (or plan to) a Camel Spider even though they aren't spiders?

quaoarpower7 karma

I don't want to be bitten by a black widow or brown recluse, or a Sydney funnel web spider, or a Wandering spider. Also some of the tarantulas have whopping big fangs and having that stick into my flesh is not so appealing.

As for camel spiders, good luck getting them in your hand! They are super fast. I made a video of one climbing in Texas and Dr Paula Cushing eventually described the behavior in a published paper. They are remarkable animals and full of mysteries, so I'd be happy to see more of them.

idiotsonfire4 karma

Have you ever done anything with Japanese Giant hornets?

If not, then a spider-related question: What is the most aggressive spider you have interacted with that the general public wouldn't know about? That is, not a brazilian wandering spider, or other relatively well known spiders.

quaoarpower10 karma

I've never met a Japanese Giant Hornet, but I would say はじめまして to one if I did.

The most aggressive I ever met was this Cork lid trapdoor spider in Arizona. She did not want to be held.

idiotsonfire3 karma

Hopefully the hornet would just say どう致しまして and move on.

Is the cork lid related to the Sydney Funnel? It looks just like it, so maybe a similar genus. I'm just guessing though, the resemblance can be uncanny without relation.

quaoarpower4 karma

Not really related. Both of them are pretty primitive as far as spiders go.

Deathvalley11834 karma

I have two questions first I live in west Texas and we have thousands of tarantulas here. My first question is that there are black haired and brown haired ones, are they the same specie with different color hair or are they two totally different spiders? Also during a certain time of year out in the country you can see them by the hundreds crossing country roads but only for a few days and then it subsides. What causes this migration?

quaoarpower7 karma

For a good ID, I would need to see a picture. As far as I know your most common species is the Texas Brown, which as you can see comes in many colors.

As for the "migration," it's more like a huge gang of frat boys looking into bars to see if there are single ladies - the males, responding to weather cues, seek out the females.

Mr_poopnschitt3 karma

What are some simple recommendations for somebody suffering from a spider bite, when would be a good time to seek medical attention?

quaoarpower6 karma

Hold onto the spider! Even if you smash it, keep it in a baggie or something so the medical professional can confirm the identity with another expert. If you didn't see the spider bite you, there's no way to be sure it's a spider bite.

As for seeking medical attention, if you feel a condition you have might be a cause for concern, the best thing to do is to seek medical attention.

djjoshuad3 karma

how often, and to what extent do you question your own sanity?

Follow-up question: during these tests do you keep a flamethrower at arms length? you know... just in case?

quaoarpower6 karma

I don't question my sanity often, because I feel like I have a lot of things I want out of life.

As for the flamethrower, who needs one? I'm 10,000 times bigger than the spiders and I have a big brain. There's subtler ways to control a situation.

MischaLives3 karma

Best way to determine if a spider is dangerous? Always be cautious, sure, but is there any technology/resources out there to help? Either based on spider looks or spiderweb designs?

quaoarpower6 karma

Oh, it's way simpler than that. If you're in North America, there's only two dangerous spiders: black widow and brown recluse. Learn to distinguish those two, and you're golden.

rattlebat3 karma

This is a cool idea, I'm just a little confused behind the motivation. Is your goal to remove the phobia most people have of spiders? I'm just asking because I'm Australian, and so fearing spiders seems pretty rational to me.

Actually, have you done these tests with any Australian spiders? what was your reaction?

quaoarpower3 karma

Australia, like N America, only has a couple of dangerous spider species. I haven't tried any of them out because my only trip was in 1999 for a wedding.

But yes, the idea is to show people how reluctant spiders are to actually bite a person.

SeriousPan3 karma

Have spiders done more than bite? Perhaps attempted to scratch or attack you in a way that doesn't include biting?

quaoarpower3 karma

Sure, tarantulas are well-known for brushing itchy hairs off their butts - but other than that, no. Beyond their bite, most spiders are not weaponized.

Remigus3 karma

I like spiders, but damn. @.@

Also the male seemed like he was "I'm not doin this shit lemme gooooooooo!" (\(\(\;;/)/)/)

Have you ever had any spiders that were so aggressive they needed no provocation?

quaoarpower2 karma

Yeah, the Cork lid trapdoor spider, but I didn't own a video camera when I met that one.

Beautifulderanged3 karma

Have you ever accidentally been bitten by a red back? Also, what are you scared of in life?

quaoarpower4 karma

A red back? Like, from Australia? No, I only visited Australia for a few days for my brother's wedding, and there were no spiders in attendance.

In life I am terrified of random chaos (out of control vehicles, stray bullets, etc) hurting my kid. I have nightmares about things happening to her.

LazerAttack42423 karma

You ever enjoy Spiderman growing up?

If not what got you into this profession?

quaoarpower4 karma

Sure, I liked Spiderman, and I used to be deathly afraid of spiders. I used to go by the philosophy of "if it's in my house, it's dead." But I started studying insects and got pretty good at that, and then realized I had next to zero when it came to spiders. By that time there was a pretty good spider community on the web, har har, and so I had a lot of mentors when I started learning about them. My first "arachnid crush" was the harvestmen, though.

The real spur was finding a spider in Costa Rica that had been described fifty years ago, but had zero information published about it since then. That's when I realized what a wide-open field this was.

SituatedCurve2 karma

I too am deathly afraid of spiders.. mid 20's guy - my girlfriend keeps threatening to buy a taranatula.. I need to be prepared. Any advice on how to get over that fear?

quaoarpower5 karma

Yes, you can start learning some spider parts. This will help demystify them. Try catching little ones in jars and learn to recognize the pedipalps and spinnerets, for a start. Sounds like you have a cool GF!

SituatedCurve3 karma

Thank you for the advice! How long did it take you to get over your fear? They fascinate me, and i have no issue with the smaller spiders - but my brother has a giant golden orb in his bac yard - freaks me out..

quaoarpower4 karma

It took me a while, but the more spiders I "met," the easier it was to chill with them.

WinterFreshershist3 karma

this is so weird. Just saw one of your videos posted on /r/spiders, went to your YouTube and found out you were that spider guy on americas got talent. And after creeping on you by looking through you "reddit profile" I found this. Anyways, thanks for all the information in you videos, a lot of the "not venomous enough to hurt you" kinda stuff I knew but the more in depth stuff is super cool. Also I live in Washington, not sure if you live in Oregon or what, just guessing from you posts.

My question is, how do you get a hold of jumpers easier? If you're from around here you know they are everywhere (mostly Salticus Scenicus and Phidippus Audux) and I love to handle them but ther are so darn skiddish and just jump away.

quaoarpower3 karma

Oh yeah, the Couv has some good spiders. So the idea is that you let the spider CHOOSE to get on your hand. So you put your hand down flat in front of the spider, and then you use your other hand to lightly touch the spider from behind (with a leaf or something until you're confident.) Then they will just hop onto your hand, but be ready to catch them with the other hand when they hop off.

sbFRESH2 karma

Which spider, after exposure to radiation, has the highest chance of giving me really cool spider powers?

quaoarpower5 karma

negative_geared2 karma

What do you think of our Funnel Web spiders from NSW, Australia?

edit also Redbacks

quaoarpower2 karma

I think they have an extraordinarily powerful venom and I would treat them with caution and respect. All the same, I would really like to meet one!

everythingsleeps2 karma

So what exactly is your "job title"? And how does one get into this kind of profession?

quaoarpower3 karma

I'm an entomologist. I can't really say how one gets into it besides having a love for weirdness.

RZgamer2 karma

Would you say you have a favorite spider? If so, what?

quaoarpower4 karma

Maybe Opadometa fastigata - but I have a lot of favorites. I'm always learning something new about them, and that novelty is like a narcotic for me.

PhillipCarey2 karma

What spider has the chompiest bite?

quaoarpower3 karma

"Chompiest?" Maybe the woodlouse hunter - but the longlegged river spiders will sure chomp on you if you try to grab them.

idiotsonfire1 karma

You wouldn't classify the Sydney Funnel Web spider in that category?

quaoarpower3 karma

Hey I don't really know what chompy means, so I'm just guessing.

theacorneater2 karma

Are spiders fun pets?

quaoarpower4 karma

It depends on the owner. They're a lot less maintenance than dogs and cats, but a lot less willing to form emotional bonds. I prefer wild spiders to pet spiders.

VisionOP2 karma

I was bitten by a Brown Recluse once and almost lost my foot Have you ever had an infection similar to what I experienced?

EDIT: First sentence was a statement, not a question. Fixed

quaoarpower7 karma

No, but can you please describe the circumstances under which the spider bit you?

tiabear2 karma

Do you ever give in and itch any of your stings/bites? I can't imagine how you're able to tolerate that. The sting, I think I'd be able to handle. It's the itchiness afer that would drive me crazy!!

quaoarpower3 karma

Oh yeah I have scratched myself bloody many times. It can be such wretched suffering.

seestella2 karma

What was the weirdest/most memorable reaction you ever had when you told someone you were a spider bite tester?

Also: Wow, I never thought a job like that really exists. Not your average 9 to 5 experience I guess...

quaoarpower4 karma

I haven't had that many weird reactions to it. Most people think I'm insane or an idiot.

portlandburner2 karma

What is the most common poisonous spider in NW United Stated?

quaoarpower4 karma

You may mean "venomous," and it's probably the black widow in the Inland NW. I-5 corridor is venomous-spider free!

DeadSeriousNotReally2 karma

What's your favorite type of food?

quaoarpower5 karma

Depends on the weather - wintertime, German food, Bratkartoffeln und Speck, Fleischaufstrich, Currywurst, Käse. Summertime: fresh fruit! The weirder, the better

Migratory_Locust2 karma

You not only know the German names but also use the Umlaut correctly. What is your connection to Germany?

quaoarpower2 karma

I was an exchange student in Germany at age 16, then studied German literature in university, then worked 2 summers in Austria. It's my favorite foreign language.

ScoopJr2 karma

Interesting. I have two spiders "nesting" in the windshield of my yet to be cleaned motorcycle. Size would be small to medium. Could you identify with pictures?

quaoarpower3 karma

Pictures + location, yeah, I could give it a shot.

Greejmunkle2 karma

Do you ever wish to mutate into a superhero?

quaoarpower3 karma

Sure, as long as the mutations don't come at too high a cost to my other adaptive traits.

jabe11272 karma

I have a rather strange question. When I was a kid, around 8 or so, I climbed a Tree near my house in SE Georgia. I put my face right into the body of one of these guys. He didn't bite me, but I fell out of that tree. Ever since that day I respect these spiders, but at the same time they scare the shit out of me.

So I guess my rather vague question is, Do you have any experience with this spider? Also, I notice many of them in this area that are much bigger then the 1-2 inches that wiki page says they grow. Some of them I see are easily 3-4 inch long bodies, In webs spanning from oak tree to oak tree 10-15 feet across. They are incredibly creepy, but at the same time so interesting to me. Thanks for your time.

quaoarpower2 karma

Yes, those spiders and I are old friends. Intimidating but totally harmless.

MrDorkESQ2 karma

Hey /u/quaoarpower do you know of my friend Gwen "Bug Girl" Pearson?

quaoarpower1 karma

Not personally, but we follow each other's work.

Suwannee_Gator1 karma

I just watched your America's got Talent video, and I have to ask: does it annoy you that people constantly freak out/jump/scream at the sight of a spider?

quaoarpower2 karma

Not really, because it is such a typical response. And lots of times people freak out at first and then get curious when they calm down. Baby steps!

VulgariVan1 karma

Have you always liked or been interested by spiders? Or was this more of a "conquer your fears head on" type of activity? What guided your choice to do this of all things?

quaoarpower5 karma

I want to demonstrate how unwilling spiders are to actually bite people. There's a lot of anti-spider sentiment out there and most of it is baseless. I can tell people spiders are friendly but this way I'm putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak.

salacious_c1 karma

Are there any behavioral clues used when guessing whether or not a spider will bite you? I know some spiders will raise their front legs as a warning, is that a pretty good indicator that they'll strike, or is it more of a bluff?

quaoarpower2 karma

Lots of them raise their legs up, or stand their ground and spread their fangs. There's no foolproof way to know, but most spiders won't bite you unless you're actively trying to hurt them.

redmaskdit1 karma

Do you put on any cream or lotion after getting bitten/stinged? I.e hydrocortisone or similar.

quaoarpower2 karma

No, I haven't had a bad reaction to any of them.

peachesandpigeons1 karma

Have you ever read the book Rant by Chuck Palahniuk?

quaoarpower2 karma


automated_bot1 karma

What happens if you taunt the spiders?

quaoarpower6 karma

If you call them names and insult their noble lineage? They don't get too upset. But get in their face with a paintbrush and they seem to lose patience quickly.

nephatwork1 karma

What equipment do you use to take your pictures and video? Also, thank you, I think reading all of this may have lessened my arachnaphobia significantly. We are in Ontario and we get loads of longbodied cellar spiders in our basement, it will be interesting to see how I feel next time I run into one, especially now, knowing how harmless they are.

quaoarpower1 karma

I used to use a Sanyo Xacti but I've had it with that camera. Switching now to a Sony a5100.

MeetYourCows1 karma

This is all incredibly fascinating.

2 questions, sorry if they've been asked already:

Has any of your research/documentation been accepted as medical data? Do medical professionals consult you or your work when dealing with potential spider bites?

For bites that are especially uncomfortable or agitating, do you ever have trouble documenting the results in a scientifically reasonable manner? I recall reading about a physician who killed himself with morphine (or some other drug) overdose, and recorded the effects in first person. But afterwards, the results (scribbles on a chalkboard) were deemed nonviable because of the condition of the researcher.

quaoarpower4 karma

First question: the medical community is incredibly reluctant to consult non-medical authorities on medical matters, which I guess is understandable but it is a bit frustrating. And, if I wanted to be more serious about presenting it as "research" I would have to have more stringent protocols, a bigger number of repetitions, and lots of paperwork/permits saying I know what I'm doing.

2: haha, great question! There was only one sting that left me useless, and it was a bee, of all things - it flew down my shirt and stung me right over the heart. It was several minutes before I could get myself under control and stop freaking out. I was all alone on a mountain in Thailand, and I was pretty panicked.

amethyst_specter1 karma

I see you have videos on bugs in general. I'm scared of many bugs (though not most spiders) especially those that fly or I feel are likely to sting/bite me, for instance earwigs, dobsonflies, wasps, and mosquitoes. I feel like I could calmly hold a Madagascar hissing cockroach but not a species of cockroach that flies or even something like a grasshopper. Do you have any ideas for how I could become less afraid of them?

quaoarpower1 karma

Well, pay close attention next time you get bitten or stung. It sucks, but it's not that bad. Also, it's the 1% that bites or stings, everyone else just kinda keeps to themselves.

mobydickenson1 karma

According to the rest of the internet, I'm weird because I'm not freaked out too badly by spiders. On the flip side, however, I absolutely spaz out when a wasp, hornet, or even a bee (I know, bees are bros, etc) starts flying at me. How would you recommend conquering a fear like that?

quaoarpower2 karma

Exposure. Keep track of all the times they fly at you and you don't get stung.

fiftyshadesofsway1 karma

What's the largest spider that ever bit you?

quaoarpower3 karma

One of my tarantulas gave me a nip when she felt she was being roughly handled.

thirdrail691 karma

Why do they need to be tested?!

quaoarpower2 karma

To demonstrate how difficult it is to make a spider bite a person, mostly. You may be aware that lots of people think spider bites are very common - I'm trying to dispel that.

longtimelurker301 karma

How do people respond when you tell them what you do for a living? Such as an application for a loan.

quaoarpower2 karma

Most people think I am either stupid or crazy. But I do lots of stuff for a living, this is just part of it.

REMstate0 karma

Have you ever been bitten by a guy in a Spider-Man costume?

quaoarpower3 karma

Dude tried, but the joke was on him - the mask covered his mouth!

ayushman-singh0 karma

I just saw your videos, how do you manage to not crush them? How many do you kill while making a video?

quaoarpower1 karma

I don't kill any! I really like bugs and spiders. I just treat them as gently as possible.