Friday, March 12, 2010

Video: Marines and Camel Spiders

Do Camel Spiders attack US marines in Iraq, or Afghanistan? Well, judging from the frequency of stories of Camel Spider attacks on humans deployed by American and Coalition forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan, first I thought that they are well-trained by Taliban or Al-Qaeda, or both, or they are themselves hardcore terrorists bent upon attacking the western forces.

While hunting for public domain photos for posting in this blog, I came across the photo of a very nice F-16 fighter aircraft, and while looking for details it, I came to a report that said, on 31 August 2006 a Dutch F-16AM crashed in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan and the pilot Captain Michael Donkervoort was killed. The investigations to find out the cause of the crash could not blame the crash on any technical or human errors, as if it was a mystery. But the investigation report referenced to the fact that a Camel Spider and other creatures had been found recently in the cockpits of Dutch fighter aircraft in Afghanistan. Indirectly, it seemed to allude that the Camel Spider had bitten the pilot who was paralyzed and lost control of the F-16, eventually crashing it.

My further efforts to find out more about these scary, bizarre, vampire-like creatures brought me to this video on YouTube. And I found much more videos and blogs that showed how the foreign soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are scared about these vampire Spiders. (In fact, biologically, they are not spiders but they belong to another family like that of the scorpions with more than 1000 identified species in their family).

Here is, in a nutshell, what the author of this video posted in YouTube (click on the video to go to his page), summarized as, “I made this video in Iraq. When stress comes calling... it has been a little busier and we're at the 1/3 mark in the deployment.”

That night the marine walked outside his office and saw the dead Camel Spider. A devilish idea struck him, as he was always talking about Marines screaming like little girls on the sight of these creatures. So he picked it up, pulled out his digital camera… He would walk up to people filming and telling them he was making a video to send home about Iraq, and what they thought of Camel Spiders... He would then toss the carcass onto their laps. He wrote, “Out of 15 subjects tested, 5 did indeed squeal like little girls, one was female though.” Any way, he has shot the Camel Spider comedy surprisingly well as you can see from this video.

Under the comments, I found myths surrounding camel spiders, like ‘Camel Spiders can move at speeds over 30 MPH screaming while they run, they can be as large as a Frisbee, their venom is an anesthetic that numbs their prey, they can jump three feet high, they got their name because they eat the stomachs of camels, they eat or gnaw on people while they sleep, due to the numbing effect of their venom the victim is unaware until they wake up.’

Any way the Camel Spider in this video is dead, not a living one! I have posted another video that shows a Camel Spider eating up a lizard in Iraq.

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