The cactus that was teeming with tarantulas-Fiction!
The “noisy cactus” That Turned out to Have Thousands of Tarantulas In It–Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A lady buys an expensive decorative cactus to put into her home. One day, the cactus starts swaying and humming. Alarmed, the homeowner calls 911, happens to get an operator who knows what is going on and who tells the lady to evacuate her home immediately. The police send a five-man team who take the cactus outside and just in time. The cactus bursts and thousands of tarantulas are released. The nursery refunds the lady’s money and pays for her entire block to be exterminated. The story then says that cacti have been used by tarantulas as mass breeding farms for a long time.
This story is designed to give the creeps to people who hate spiders, but is not true. It is a long-standing urban legend. There is no documented case of this having happened and according to insect and cactus experts, including David Eppele of Arizona Cactus & Succulent Research, tarantulas breed in the ground, not in plants or trees.
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
NEVER BUY A NOISY CACTUS:
A True Story
In the second such incident in the Southwest, a San Diego woman purchased a large cactus during the redecoration of her home. The huge cactus was a fitting centerpiece for her “New Southwest” look, and she was quite happy with her $3,000 purchase – for a while.
A few days later, she noticed that the big cactus seemed to be swaying …and…. humming. Bewildered and not knowing where else to turn, she dialed 9-1-1 and -fortunately for her got an operator who knew what this uncactus-like-behavior meant. She was told to clear out of the house immediately – like right now! and wait for an emergency team.
The responding five man team had just enough time to move the huge cactus into the back yard before it burst wide open, scattering about a thousand tarantulas in all directions. The nursery where she had purchased the cactus refunded her $3,000 and paid for exterminator service for the entire block.
When asked later how her plants were, the lady replied, “Plastic and silk,thank you!” The fashion of using cacti for home decoration is fairly new, but tarantulas have been using them for mass breeding farms for a long, long time.