Am wondering about this episode, from Timothy Bax, Three Sips of Gin:
The three of us had just moved from the bar to an outside courtyard to take advantage of a cool breeze when between us walked a large hunting spider. It was some five inches in diameter with a bulbous yellow backside the size of a squash ball. The [South African] Brigadier took a nimble step backwards warning us to be careful.
“You ‘Rhodesias’ must watch out for those things, they are extremely venomous,” he cautioned keeping a wary eye on the hairy creature.
Ian looked down at the spider as if it were nothing more dangerous than a dung beetle. Bending down he scooped it up in his right hand and popped it into his mouth, swallowing it like a hungry hound might swallow a piece of meat. Then pulling a filthy handkerchief from his pocket, he gave his nose a loud honk that sounded like the blast of a ship’s horn on a foggy night off the Goodwin Sands. “They’re only dangerous if you let them bite you, Brigadier. Eaten, they are a great delicacy,” said Ian nonchalantly, swigging back his beer.
Is this realistic? Surely you would need to at least kill it before swallowing it? Is the venom not dangerous if swallowed?
I assume this was a Huntsman spider, and from limited personal experience from long ago, I believe spiders tend to curl up into a ball when/just before dying, so technically I guess it is possible to swallow it whole.