Meanwhile in Michigan: Library Closes After Outbreak of Venomous Spiders, All One People Inside Evacuated With Pay

Photo: Schiz-Art (Getty Images)

Arachnophobia is a fear of spiders. But we don’t even think it needs to have a special name since virtually everyone on earth is skeeved out by spiders. Eight spindly legs, those lifeless, creepy eyes all over their heads, and the ability to slowly climb down from the ceiling and scurry down your arm for no reason only to disappear from whence they came. On top of that, many of these nightmare creatures are chocked full of venom. This and all the other reasons listed are why we weren’t surprised to hear that an outbreak of venous spiders caused the University of Michigan’s library to close for two days.

University officials said that three large spiders were discovered in the basement of Shapiro Undergraduate Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor at the end of January. As a precaution, they were sent to the University of Michigan-Dearborn to be identified by Ann Danielson-Francois a biology professor and expert on arachnids.

She discovered that the spiders in questions were Mediterranean recluse spiders. While not usually fatal, this type of spider does carry venom that can be harmful to humans. How these spiders made their way into the basement of the library is a mystery. But it can be assumed that they tunneled in while the building was unoccupied during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Even though the buildings were closed for cleaning, Danielson-Francois said that the spiders weren’t likely to bite anyone in the open spaces of the library itself. To even find yourself face to face with this horrifying creature, you’d probably have to be climbing around in a crawl space or hiding out in the basement.

But, as humans with a healthy fear of eight-legged monsters, we’re glad to hear they moved the one or two people reading dusty books out of the library for a few days to make sure they removed the potentially dangerous spiders.

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