If you don't yet suffer from arachnophobia - an abnormal fear of spiders, try this on for size!
A new study states that the eight-eyed
monsters arachnids eat between 400-800 million metric tons of insects, lizards, birds, and small mammals globally each year, which is about the same amount of food that whales consume!
Compare that number to humans, who eat 400 million tons of fish and meat each year!
Terrifyingly enough, this also means that while spiders do not eat humans, (unless you believe the 1977 fiction horror film "Kingdom of the Spiders" to be true,) should spiders choose to take over the universe, they could eat the estimated 287-million ton weight of the entire adult human population and still be hungry.
Scared yet? No? Then let's keep going.
European scientists Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer published their study in the journal The Science of Nature, in which they noted that, in normal conditions, a global average of 13 spiders can be found per square foot in the great outdoors.
Well, would you look at that! The number 13 and spiders combined - a little triskaidekaphobia fun in case arachnophobia alone wasn't enough.
Oh, and you cannot escape spiders. "There is hardly any terrestrial area on this globe where spiders would be missing," the biologists write.
Scientists know that spiders have been found in every habitable place on earth, from "the most northern islands of the Arctic, the hottest and most arid of deserts, at the highest altitudes of any living organisms, in the depths of caves, in the intertidal zone of ocean shores, in bogs and ponds, on high, arid moorlands, sand dunes, and flood plains,” A.L. Turnbull writes in his 1973 article Ecology of the True Spiders.
And don't forget under your bed!
How about this mind-blowing tidbit? Nyffeler and Birkhofer estimate that spiders worldwide, if piled together in a giant heap, would weigh 25 million tons. The Washington Post compares that to the Titanic, which weighed 52,000 tons, thus the global spider population would equal 478 Titanic ships. WHAT?!
The Washington Post also shares this fun fact: It would take approximately 2,000 pounds of spiders to consume a 200-pound man in one day.
But that's a story for another day. The good news - spiders don't really want to eat you (we think.)
They just want to get their eight little legs on the other countless creepy crawlies lurking in the darkness inside your home. There. Feel better?