An Italian study revealed how a murder mystery novel and a medical rarity were used to whip up media hysteria about spiders.
Funnel webs are considered one of Australia's most fearsome spiders, but their ability to kill humans is by accident rather than design.
The effects of President Mugabe's post-independence security clampdown that led to the murder of between 10 000 and 20 000 Zimbabweans, known as the Matabeleland massacre, continue to be felt.
Whether it's a bite from a spider or another insect, the management is the same - most will get better without any medical treatment.
There are more than 45,000 species of spider, but only a handful are potentially dangerous to humans.