A nest of spiders escaping from under a train station vending machine is terrifying TikTokers, but some eagle-eyed users don’t believe the clip is real.
Posted by @family.booms on September 3—a family account run by German parenting influencers Aleks and Alex—the clip shows Aleks and her son poking a stick under the vending machine and immediately stepping back. Within seconds, a large group of spiders dash out and spread across the train station floor as the pair speed away.
Since being posted, the video has received over 518,000 likes and more than 26,000 shares. However, many users believe the video is a fake, accusing the family of using CGI.
A Family Trait?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, an estimated 3 to 15 percent of the population has arachnophobia—a severe fear of spiders and other arachnids.
There are several theories why so many people are spooked by spiders, with a 1997 study suggesting “spider trauma” is to blame. Researchers posited that children who had gone through a traumatic event involving spiders would have a lasting fear of the creepy crawlies, even if they couldn’t remember the event itself.
Another theory suggests arachnophobia could be a family trait. In 1991, researchers surveyed 118 people with a fear of spiders, finding that 75 percent of sufferers also have relatives with arachnophobia.
This same study, conducted by the City University, also theorized that a phobia of spiders is innate. Ancestors who were scared of spiders and other “gross” looking creatures were more likely to avoid dangerous situations and live to pass on their genes, as opposed to braver humanoids who got bitten, poisoned or eaten by nasties.
Whatever the reason, a recent YouGov America poll found that spiders are the country’s third biggest fear. Surveying 1,000 Americans, 24 percent said they are afraid of spiders. The country’s top fear was snakes with 30 percent, followed by heights at 28 percent.
‘My Worst Nightmare’
Many TikTok users were horrified by the clip, with Leandra BeLike asking “Why Lord.”
“OK I would have left fire behind me running that fast out of there,” said chloe71.
“From now on spiders own this place,” wrote ₲Ɇ₦₴Ⱨł₦ⱠØVɆⱤ.
While Lotts described the scene as “my worst nightmare.”
However, others were not convinced by the scene, with Eighty Eight writing: “real decent CGI, movie quality.”
“Remind me of ‘The Mummy’ the movie,” said Alfie James, referencing the 1999 action adventure thriller starring Brendan Fraser, known for its questionable CGI.
User tom24038 commented: “It’s actually kind of scary that so many people think this is real.”
Considering Alex is a VFX artist, they may have a point…
Newsweek has reached out to @family.boom for comment.
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