Spiders, The Real Reason Behind the Banana Myth

Why anglers and some boaters in general just don't want bananas on board.

Anglers, and boaters in general, are a superstitious lot. One myth that many ascribe to is that bananas are bad luck aboard a boat. Being the skeptical type (or, as my wife puts it, overly cynical), I tend to scoff at that notion and even sought out photographic evidence to disprove it. See the photo below of my brother hoisting a nice smallmouth bass with a banana on board.

Case closed. However, shortly after shooting this photo, I encountered a string of bad luck that may or may not have been coincidental. Does karma exist?

People who, like me, probably care way too much about the banana myth have pointed to historical reasons for the disdain for bananas on boats. The principle reason for that is, scary things used to hide on board banana boats.

I was reminded of this today with the news that a family in England found the most venemous spiders in the world in Bananas imported from Brazil. Apparently an egg sack laid by a Brazilian Wandering Spider, also known as the banana spider, remained adhered to a bunch and actually hatched inside the family's house.

Unless you have the antidote at hand, these spiders are not something you want hanging out in your living room. Now, imagine being stuck on a banana boat with hundreds of these little critters, and maybe your trepidation about bringing bananas aboard is valid.