Is it true that camel spiders eat human flesh and can run up to 25 miles per hour? Or are these just a camel spider myths? Stories about the camel spider, which is also known as the sun spider, wind spider or wind scorpion, is the result of the imaginative minds of people.
Camel spiders are abundant in warm and arid areas, particularly in deserts. They were discovered in the Middle East, specifically in Iraq, as well as in sandy areas of Mexico and southwest of the United States. These spiders typically appear only during summer and spring as they are afraid of cold weather.
Here are four myths about the camel spider that you may have heard.
Myth 1: The camel spider eats human flesh
In the deserts of the Near East, camel spiders are believed to inject anesthesia in sleeping persons and then eat large portions of the flesh of the same person. This legend is widely known in Arab nations and also in North America through the Gulf War veterans while supported by a misinformed person who was part of a TV documentary film. Many soldiers believed that this legend is really true but no record exist of any victim through this form of killing.
Myth 2: The camel spider can run up to 25 miles per hour
Another popular myth is that they are fast movers such that they can run at 25 miles per hour, are one foot in length, and lay eggs under the skin of the camels. Camel spiders can run fast but not that fast. A recorded maximum speed in scientific sources is 10 miles per hour.
They are also not popular for their jumping ability. They have no venom and no means to inject it even if they have venom.
They also do not eat large animals such as camels and human beings.
Myth 3: The camel spider lays eggs on bite
According to the myth, these spiders can lay their eggs below human skin in wounds they have made through biting. The urban legend says that an unknown woman was bitten while having a vacation and the bitten body portion of the female swells. Baby camel spiders emerge from the swelling portion, making a conclusion that the venom was transformed into eggs. This story has no basis, even in scientific or medical literature.
Myth 4: The camel spider can grow as large as a frisbee
The most favorite amongst the myths is that it can grow up to as large as a Frisbee. This legend does not jell with the recorded size of a camel spider which is only up to 6 inches although camel spiders which are a little larger than 6 inches have been reported.