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article imageAussie must live, sleep with spiders for three weeks for charity

By Kim I. Hartman     Nov 16, 2010 in World
Melbourne - An Australian man, who considers himself a real-life Spiderman, will spend 22 days enclosed in a glass store-front window with hundreds of poisonous spiders to break a record for habitation with arachnids, while raising money for charity.
“Spiderman” Nick Le Souef hopes to raise as much as $50,000 dollars for the children's charity, Variety, by spending the next few weeks eating, sleeping and working with almost 400 of Australia's most famous and dangerous, eight-legged inhabitants.
“I am a bit silly doing what I am doing,” Le Souef said of his decision to closet himself with potentially lethal spiders, some of which will leave nasty bites, reported IOL News.
And this isn't even the silliest or scariest stunt that Le Souef has completed over the years. He is well known in his part of the country for his daring attempts to break world records for deserving non-profit charities he supports.
According to his fund-raising website, he currently holds the Australian records for living in a snake pit, in a shark tank and in a cage with a red back black widow spider, all for a duration of three weeks.
To break this record Le Souef will be required to live as one with the arachnids for more than 23 hours a day. He will be granted one 30 minute respite each day to shower and go to the restroom.
Despite the obvious danger of living in such close quarters with hundreds of poisonous and hungry spiders, Le Souef said he was confident he would come out of the adventure unscathed, he told the Herald Sun.
Yesterday he began his record breaking quest by feeding the hungry creatures and then climbing into the enclosure where he will stay for the next 22 consecutive days and nights, until December 6.
"I don't like spiders all that much, I must confess," Mr Le Souef told the Sydney Morning Herald."I'm not afraid of them but I don't like them particularly."
The 67-year-old had originally hoped to do the stunt with snakes, but licensing issues derailed that idea in the early stages of planning the event.
His second choice for this years attempt was sleeping with spiders," said Le Souef.
Those spiders, who are now his bunk-mates, are some of the most dangerous in all of Australia, and include the red backs and bird eating spiders, black house spiders and the common huntsman, plus a few of the white-tailed variety.
There were approximately 400 of them in the window until an "arachnid massacre" occurred . The creatures started eating each other in the hours leading up to the start time for his bid at the world record. A few crickets and cockroaches were thrown into the window of Le Souef's Flinders Lane opal shop to keep the remaining 300 or so happy, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Le Souef completed a similar challenge about 30 years ago by living in a cage with spiders. This time around he said he planned to spend his time cutting opals and writing his memoirs.
Asked by the AFP what would happen if he did get bitten by a Huntsman, the largest spider in his small, specially designed room, he said: "I don't know what would happen with me. I wouldn't die, I know that, but it would be painful."
Le Souef said the spiders, who will live with him in the 12-by-four-feet (3.6-by-1.2-metres) store-front window, will have better things to munch on then his flesh. Their daily meals will include the live cockroaches, crickets and other insects he will be providing for sustenance, according to the AFP report.
Morning news reports said today: The enthusiastic, self-proclaimed 'Spiderman' has survived his first night with the creepy crawlie spiders, he has 21 days to go.
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