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Man shows grasp of science by setting spider on fire at gas station

Technically Incorrect: If you see a spider on your car as you're filling up, taking your lighter out and trying to burn the spider to death is not scientifically optimum.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Children, please don't try this at home. Or anywhere. Fox 2 Detroit screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Science has taught us so much.

The only sad part is that sometimes it teaches us the hard way.

This is entirely our fault. We might learn something at school, but we forget that most of it actually applies in our real lives.

A beautiful, mesmeric example comes from Michigan. I present a man who was filling his tank at a Mobil gas station when he noticed a spider crawling around his fuel tank.

Some people are afraid of spiders. Some -- and I know one -- can't even look at food that has legs or tentacles when it's placed before them at the nicest restaurants.

The man in Center Line, Michigan, however, decided there was only one way to fight his fear. He took out his lighter and decided to burn the spider until it could crawl no more. The man, who grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the flames before firefighters arrived, later admitted he was deathly afraid of spiders.

Those who have taken any science classes -- or, indeed, merely lived beyond five years of age -- know that placing a naked flame near gasoline isn't the wisest of moves.

Susan Adams, who works at the gas station told Fox 2 Detroit: "He didn't have a cigarette. He didn't have anything on him. So all of a sudden I looked out and I seen flames."

At least she kept her wits about her. At least she actually had some. She hit the button that shuts off the flow of gas to the pumps. Meanwhile, the man rushed around the car, somehow stunned that these flames might have something to do with him.

"He was sorry," Adams said. "He said he didn't know. It's just one of those things that happen -- stupidity." She also said she explained to him: "Gas go boom."

We all have areas in our heads that house a stunning lack of knowledge of one subject or another. In this case, the man did grab an extinguisher and put out the fire.

His car reportedly escaped largely unhurt. There is no word on the spider.