Image: Katie Melua and the spider that lived in her ear canal for a week (Instagram)
The most groundbreaking, fascinating and ‘woah’-provoking health news around today.
1. Singer discovers spider living in her ear
Considering 2014 has already brought us a woman with a leech living in her nose, and a spider that allegedly burrowed through a man’s stomach, we thought the gruesome insect stories were over. Unfortunately, not so.
The latest squirmy story comes from English pop star Katie Melua, who recently had her ears checked by a hearing specialist after experiencing a scratching, scuffling noise. Turns out the sounds had been created by a small jumping spider that had taken up residence in the 30-year-old’s ear canal. Fittingly, it had been camping in there for the week leading up to Halloween.
Katie, who amusingly released a track called ‘Spider’s Web’ back in 2006, shared a photo of her tiny tenant on Instagram (see above).
“Basically I used these old in-ear monitors to block out sound on a flight, a little spider must have been in them and crawled inside my ear and stayed there for the week,” she explained. “Though the thing looked TERRIFYING up-close on the doctor’s camera, once he took him out ( using a micro Hoover ) it was pretty small, and now its in this little test tube, alive and seemingly fine.” Katie later released the spider into her garden.
2. A shocking way to kick your bad habits
Everyone who’s ever scarfed down a whole packet of Tim Tams in one sitting knows bad habits are hard to break – but how far would you go to make it happen? Apparently, there are people willing to give themselves electric shocks to change their behaviour.
A US firm has developed a wristband to help people kick their bad habits by administering a ‘punishment’ chosen by the user – these include vibrations, sound reminders, blocked access to a mobile phone and, yes, a 300 volt electric shock. Ooph – say hello to the 21st century version of the ol’ ‘snapping an elastic band’ trick.
The Pavlok wristband – yes, named after Pavlov and his dog – includes a Bluetooth radio that links up to a smartphone app and can track the user’s behaviour. Users can also set up rewards for when they achieve their goals.