Scientists have been sent to a remote Indian village to investigate an invasion of giant venomous spiders believed to be a new species of tarantula.
Swarms of spiders first descended on the remote northeastern Indian village of Sadiya on May 8 as residents celebrated a Hindu festival, Fox News reported. The spiders went on the attack, biting villagers.
Thus far one man, and one schoolboy have died, but according to the Mirror officials have said it is unclear if the deaths were the result of spider venom or the treatment meted out by local witch doctors who tried to drain the wounds with razor blades. Other villagers that suffered bites are being treated in hospital with antibiotics.
Dr. L.R. Saikia of Dibrugarh University described the spiders as highly aggressive, saying "It leaps at anything that comes close. Some of the victims claimed the spider latched on to them after biting. If that is so, it needs to be dealt with carefully. The chelicerae and fangs of this critter are quite powerful."
Naharnet reported Dr. Saikia said scientists have so far been unable to determine the species of spider, but know it is not native. He said "It appears to be an aggressive spider with its fangs more powerful than the normal variety of house spiders."
The area is now in the process of being sprayed and fogged with insecticides in an effort to quell the invasion.