Boy Allows Himself to Be Bitten by Black Widow to Become Spider-Man

An 8-year-old Bolivian boy ended up in the hospital after allowing himself to be bitten by a dangerous black widow spider in order to become like his favorite superhero, Spider-Man.

The incident occurred in the municipality of Vichuloma, near the city of Oruro, in Central Bolivia. The 8-year-old child, whose name has not been revealed by the media, was reportedly playing near a river close to his house when he turned a big rock and discovered a black widow spider. Without realizing the consequences of being bitten by a highly-poisonous spider, he grabbed the arachnid and put it on the back of his hand, in the hopes of being bitten. He got his wish, and then headed home, where he began experiencing symptoms like body aches and intense muscle spasms. Initially, the boy didn’t say anything to his mother about the spider bite, but after about three hours of agony, he said that he had been bitten by a colorful spider.

Photo: CanyonlandsNPS/Flickr

The concerned mother took the child to a health center in a neighboring town, but he was subsequently referred to the Hospital General San Juan de Dios in the city of Oruro as a medical emergency. After hearing about the spider bite, pediatricians there contacted Ernesto Vásquez, head of the Zoonotic Diseases Program of the Departmental Health Service of Oruro, who helped establish what kind of a spider had bitten the boy.

“The child, without considering the risks, picked it up and placed it on the back of his palm where the arachnid made the bite,” Vásquez told the EFE news agency. “We are extremely concerned because the analysis and questions asked to the child when he had already recovered indicate that he picked up the arachnid with a simple purpose—that he wanted to become Spider-Man.”

The boy’s mother confirmed that he was a big Spider-Man fan, but she had no idea he could do something so dangerous to actually become like the Marvel superhero. Luckily, after identifying the spider species, doctors administered the proper anti-venom and the boy’s condition became stable only 30 minutes later.


“These black spiders with red backs are black widows. They do not cause anyone to become Spider-Man—on the contrary, they put lives at risk,” Vásquez said.

Most people who get bitten by widow spiders do not suffer any serious complications, but in rare cases, the bites of some widow species have resulted in fatalities caused by the severe disruption of nerve signals in the body. Young children, the elderly and people with underlying health problems are most susceptible to serious widow bite complications.

Interestingly, a very similar case was recorded in 2020, when three boys from the Bolivian town of Chayanta provoked a black widow spider to bite them for the exact purpose, to become real-life Spider-Men.