In Brief

A Man Heard 'Scratching' Noises in His Ear. It Was a Spider.

A man who felt a tickling and scratching sensation in his ear soon discovered something horrifying: A spider had crawled into his ear.

The man, 27-year-old Liam Gomez, of Kent, England, woke up with an earache and vertigo, which prompted him to call in sick to work, according to Fox News. He put some olive oil in his ear as a home remedy to help with the pain, and then went back to sleep. 

Soon, he felt a tickle in his ear, but he thought this was just from the oil. However, "when I woke up a couple hours later, I could still feel the sensation, but also hear a faint scratching sound, so I decided to investigate with a cotton bud," Gomez told South West News Service (SWNS).

That's when part of a spider came out of his ear.

"My initial reaction was just to get the bloody thing out of me as fast as possible – I was obviously revolted as I hate spiders," he told SWNS. "Once I'd calmed down a bit I did think, 'Well, that's one for Facebook!'"

Gomez used a bobby pin and a cotton swab to get the spider out of his ear, and he counted the legs to make sure he'd retrieve them all. (Spiders have eight legs.)

Gomez had swept a spiders nest from his door the night before the incident.

After removing the spider, Gomez did not go to the doctor, and he's hoping for no more surprises in his ear: He now sleeps with earmuffs on.

Cases of insects crawling into people's ears are more common than you might think, Live Science previously reported. Doctors have removed all sorts of critters from people's ears, including cockroaches, ticks and fruit-fly larvae. Just last month, and woman in Missouri was found to have a brown recluse spider in her ear, which doctors successfully removed.

Originally published on Live Science. 

Rachael Rettner

Rachael is a Live Science contributor, and was a former channel editor and senior writer for Live Science between 2010 and 2022. She has a master's degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has appeared in Scienceline, The Washington Post and Scientific American.