After a dissatisfied customer seemed to allege that an expensive body butter was making them irresistible to wolf spiders, sleuths of all stripes sought to investigate their claims.

Spoiler alert: there was a lot of sound and fury, but the consensus — with a few dissenters — seems to be that the claims don't hold up.

The debacle began during the sleepy week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, when a Redditor took to the r/Sephora subreddit to post a screenshot of a review allegedly left by a disgruntled body butter-purchaser. Their claim is now iconic: that the "Delícia Drench™ Body Butter for Intense Moisture and Skin Barrier Repair," manufactured by the luxury skincare brand Sol de Janeiro and sold for $48 at Sephora, was attracting wolf spiders, which are mostly-harmless arachnids that don't spin webs and are found almost everywhere around the world.

Image via screenshot/Reddit.

"If you're scared of wolf spiders — watch out for these lotions lol," the reviewer in the screenshot wrote. "I wanted to love them sooo bad, but one of the ingredients is like kryptonite to wolf spiders! When I put it on instantly one will come out. Normally, I'll see one every like 3 years, used this and it was every day. I stopped using it and haven't seen one since."

Had that screenshot been posted on its own, it would have been a passing novelty, but soon after, an armchair expert who said they "really don't like bugs" went down the scientific journal rabbit hole. That user then cited a 2009 study about spider pheromones that seemed to affirm the original review and mentioned three chemicals — arnesyl acetate, diisobutyl phthalate, and hexadecyl acetate — that are not, as Sol de Janeiro has repeatedly pointed out, in the body butter's ingredients at all.

As of press time, that poster had twice amended their comments to include disclaimers that they were mistaken.

"Combine farnesyl acetate with hexadecyl acetate in [the] right dosage and it might bring all the thirsty boy spiders to your yard," the second Redditor wrote. "Because you may also smell like a thirsty girl spider."

Image via screenshot/Reddit.

Not long after the post went viral, actual experts began cropping up to debunk the claim, making it seem very much like this is either an open-and-shut case of either a misinterpreted case of arachnids gone awry or, more conspiratorially, a distinctly bizarre bit of PR theater.

Still, there are a lot of strange loose ends that none of those denials, explanations, or debunkings can account for. Was the original product review screenshot doctored, and if not, who posted it? And what about the handful of other internet users who claimed that they, too, had either seen or even been bitten by wolf spiders after using the luxurious lotion?

Image via screenshot/Twitter.

Whether this is yet another example of viral hysteria or something altogether stranger, this strange debacle will likely go down in meme history as one of the stranger cosmetics-meets-nature incidents.

That said, the arachnophobes among us might want to hold off this particular body butter, just in case.

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