If you want to grow up to be Batman or Ironman, become an eccentric playboy with money to burn. If you want to grow up to be Spider-Man, get bitten by a radioactive spider. The latter is what a trio of lads from Bolivia attempted–kind of.
Fox reports that three boys from Bolivia (ages 12, 10, and 8) allowed a black widow spider bite them on purpose, hoping to gain the wall-crawling, web-slinging abilities enjoyed by Peter Parker in the realm of movies and comics. Since black widows only strike when provoked, the boys poked it with a stick until it attacked.
Instead of superpowers, the boys got “muscle pains, fevers, tremors and a trip to a couple of hospitals”. Black widow venom can be 15 times more powerful than that of a rattlesnake. While black widow bits aren’t usually fatal (all three boys survived) they are especially dangerous for the young, old, and sick.
Let’s hope these three boys stay in school. They’ll have better luck becoming superheros (and fewer spider bites) with an education.