LIFE

This Is How You Milk A Spider For Its Venom

No spider milk lattes for you.

31/10/2016 8:56 AM AEDT | Updated 31/10/2016 8:59 AM AEDT
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We take for granted that hospitals are stocked with antivenin in case we get bitten by a deadly spider.

But to have that, we need dedicated men and women milking spiders for their venom.

Today, we're going to see how it's done at the Australian Museum in Sydney, where they're hosting live spider-milking shows as part of exhibition Spiders -- Alive & Deadly.

Casually opening a container with a feather leg tarantula in it, live exhibits officer Lachlan Manning told The Huffington Post Australia it would hurt a lot if it bit him.

"The venom isn't really toxic to humans, it just really hurts," Manning said.

"Their fangs are quite big."

Wolter Peeters / Fairfax Media
Lachlan Manning carefully encourages the tarantual to get bitey.

This venom is destined for the University of Queensland where it's used to research medicines like painkillers, agricultural uses like pesticides and the general structure and evolution of venom.

"The feather leg tarantula has been proven to have good insecticidal properties as well," Manning said.

In terms of extracting the venom, Manning coaxes the spider to bite into a film stretched across a small vial. he then shocks its mouth parts with 12 volts of electricity to make the venom glands contract and expel the venom.

Wolter Peeters / Fairfax Media
Watch out for those fangs!

The whole process is over in a matter of minutes and the venom is ready to be frozen.

Obviously, don't try this at home.

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