“I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good master cobweb … If I cut my finger, I shall make bold of you.” -Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Biology Department at Penn State University reports that the natural, chemical coating on spider webs can help to stop bleeding and promote healing. This remedy has existed centuries and was even referenced in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. The recent experience of gator-bite victim Kaleb Langdale, described below, is a terrifying but successful example.
You may have seen the news earlier this week about a young man named Kaleb Langdale. Langdale was viciously attacked by an aggressive 11-foot alligator in Florida.According to the news story, Langdale narrowly escaped possible death and saved the lives of his friends as he managed to tear free from the jaws of the alligator after losing the lower portion of his right arm. The alligator was satisfied enough with the arm to leave Langdale and the others alone long enough for them to escape.There are a number of fascinating aspects of this story. Langdale had the presence of mind to save himself from the infamous death roll maneuver that has caused many a life to be lost to a large alligator. Even though he was likely terrified, he maintained enough mental clarity to essentially sacrifice his lower arm to save himself and his friends.After he was able to free himself from the alligator, he managed to drag himself onto land. When he tried to stand he lost his balance and fell into a cactus. In his words, “It was there that I found the spider webs I used to help stop the bleeding.”
Wow! That’s a story that will be repeated for generations!