Spider Nests On Woman’s Eardrum, Causing ‘Incessant Clicking And Rustling Sounds’

[Screenshot/YouTube/NEJM Group]

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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You’ve heard of an earworm, but what about an ear spider?

A 64-year-old Taiwanese woman complaining of incessant sounds in her left ear learned that a spider was nesting on her eardrum for four days, according to a Thursday clinical report in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) cited by Ars Technica.

The woman discovered the unwelcome arachnid when she visited an otolaryngology (ENT) clinic, where doctors spotted the spider moving around inside the patient’s ear during a physical exam, the outlet reported.

The woman felt the spider move around as early as the first day of symptoms, per Ars Technica. She reported hearing what NEJM described as “incessant clicking and rustling sounds” for days before doctors found the arachnid and its exuvia inside her ear canal, according to Ars Technica. An exuvia is the spider’s exoskeleton, meaning that the spider molted while occupying its new orifice, the outlet noted.

Video shared by the NEJM captured the creepy crawler darting around inside the patient’s ear and turning to face the camera when it saw the medical probe approaching.

The medical report did not state what type of spider was inside the woman’s ear, Ars Technica reported, but two spider experts told the outlet that it is part of the the Salticidae (jumping spider) family. “The family specific arrangement and size ratio of the eyes” was a dead giveaway to Martin Nyffeler, an emeritus senior lecturer in zoology, who noted the large median front eyes of the creature, per the outlet.

“Like 99.95 percent of the world’s >50,000 species of spiders, jumping spiders are not dangerous,” Nyffler said, according to Ars Technica. (RELATED: Man With Jar Of Weed Allegedly Starts Utah Blaze Trying To Burn A Spider)

Noting that most spiders are identified by their adult characteristics, Jerry Rovner, an emeritus biology professor at Ohio University, stated that the spider’s large eyes relative to its cephalothorax indicates that it was likely a baby spider, the outlet reported.

The patient suffered no damage to her eardrum, according to the Ars Technica. Doctors sucked the spider and its exuvia out of her ear, causing her symptoms to immediately subside, per the outlet.