We hope you’re sitting down for the following report.
Actually: We hope you’re sitting down for the following report AND you’ve checked to make sure no spiders are nearby prior to popping your squat.
Because these irritating animals just got a whole lot scarier…
First, a recent entomological survey of North Carolina houses turned up spiders in 100 percent of them. Yes, 100 percent. That is every… single… home.
The same survey found that 68 percent of bathrooms and more than three-quarters of bedrooms were at least somewhat infested with these creatures.
Okay, fine. Whatever, you may be thinking.
Spiders are annoying, but it’s not as though they inflict any real damage… right?
Tell that to European biologists Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer.
These scientists just published an estimate in the journal the Science of Nature that says the world’s spiders consume somewhere between 400 million and 800 million tons of prey in any given year.
That sounds like a lot.
But we’re guessing you don’t fully comprehend just how much that actually is.
These figures mean that spiders eat as much meat over a 12-month period as all seven billion humans on the planet combined, who, the authors note, consume a mere 400 million tons of meat and fish per year.
Kind of gross, perhaps you’re not saying to yourself.
But still. How does this really affect me?
The total biomass of all adult human being on the planet is estimated to be 287 million tons.
Tack on another 75-100 tons for all the kids running around and it’s still not equal to the total amount of food eaten by spiders in a given year.
In other words, just to break it down and be as clear as possible:
Spiders could eat all of us – every last one of us – and still be hungry. Heck, we’d serve as mere appetizers to these animals before they moved on to their real meal.
Nyffler and Birkhofer studied how many spiders reside in a square meter of land for all the main habitat types on Earth and then considered average amount of food consumed by spiders of different sizes in a given year.
They reached the disgusting and frightening conclusions above as a result, along with the following:
- The global average spider density stands at about 131 spiders per square meter.
- Deserts and tundra are among the habitats home to the fewest number of spiders.
- In more “favorable” conditions, Nyffler and Birkhofer says you can find over 1,000 spiders per square meter.
- All the spiders in the world combine to weigh over 25 million tons.
- Spiders consume approximately 10 percent of their body weight in food per day.
Is that a lot?
It would be equivalent to a 200-pound man eating 20 pounds of meat. Everyday.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that spiders primarily feast on bugs.
In other words, their impressive hunger leads to fewer pests in the garden, fewer mosquitoes in the yard and fewer flies in the house.
They don’t actually crave human flesh.