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It turns out, the panic response when a tarantula is crawling on your leg or the like is exactly what is happening when you are getting tickled. The body’s response to being tickled is panic and anxiety. It is thought that this is a defense mechanism for exactly the type of thing listed above where an external touch, such as a poisonous insect crawling on you or the like, might be occurring. The body needs to react quickly to this unanticipated touch and without time for much conscious thought, so produces the panic reaction. Interestingly, the panic reaction that results from tickling doesn’t feel like tickling when the person tickling you isn’t someone you want tickling you. In this case, it more closely resembles actual panic reactions, rather than having associated laughter.