Tarantula Spiders
A man works on a tarantula spider during the media preview of the "Spiders Alive!" exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York July 1, 2014. The exhibit runs from July 1 to November 2 and features approximately 20 species of arachnids. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

Hector Aguilan has the weirdest job. The Philippines-born biotechnologist, who currently lives in New York, has been milking spiders for the past 25 years and loving it. The 47-year-old venom extractor has been bitten many a time, but never stopped loving the many-legged arachnids and never stopped loving them. He milks thousands of tarantulas and they never put him off.

According to Mirror Online, Aguilan was afraid of the spiders when he started but soon got used to them. Now, he believes that no one should be afraid of them as most of them are not deadly.

“It's a wrong notion because of false advertisement by the movie industry. For the record, only a few spiders can inflict humans. Most of them are not deadly,” Aguilan believed.

Those with arachnophobia may not be highly appreciative of Aguilan, but the venom extractor actually helps scientific researchers find a cure to deadly diseases and ailments. His contribution is immense as the venom is used for breast cancer, epilepsy, pancreatic and MRSA research. Researchers also use the venom in treating erectile dysfunction cases.

Aguilan puts his beloved spiders to sleep using carbon dioxide and then gently runs a current through them to extract the venom. He collects 20-30 micro litres per three-inch spider.

“A duct from each venom gland has a small opening at the tip of the fang. As the low voltage is passed through the spider, the muscles encircling each gland forces venom through the duct and out through the opening in the fang tip,” Aguilan explained.

Depending on the species, average price per gram of spider venom vary from US$10,000 (AU$14,130) and up. According to Aguilan, spider venom is a “hot topic” in the research industry.

Recently, Australian researchers milked a deadly funnel-web spider that had a leg span of 10 centimetres. It was the largest ever used for an anti-venom program. Named Big Boy, it is one of the world’s deadliest species of spiders, reports The News.