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V.20 No.28 | 7/14/2011

Feature

Creepy Crawlies

Author Amy Stewart on the lifestyles of the gross and deadly

You’re strolling barefoot down the beach when—what the?—you step on a furry mass that sends lightening bolts of pain shooting through your body. You look down to discover the culprit: a roiling blob of fuzzy caterpillars. That doesn’t seem so bad, and after the pain subsides, you decide not to visit a doctor. You return home, but huge bruises begin to appear on your body. Instead of getting smaller, they get bigger. By the time you get to a hospital and doctors realize you’ve been stung by a certain type of poisonous Brazilian caterpillar―and order the special antivenin from South America―your kidneys shut down and your blood won’t clot. Later that day, you die.

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