Dear world: please stop.
We get it, okay? Spiders are everywhere. Big ones, small ones, I don't care. They're gross and I don't like them.
A survey of North Carolina homes recently found that 100% of homes surveyed had spiders in them. 68% of bathrooms were infested, 75% of bedrooms. Just in case you didn't want to sleep tonight.
So imagine the displeasure of arachnophobics everywhere when a new study revealed the world's spider population could theoretically eat the entire population and still have room for dessert.
Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer published their estimate in the journal the Science of Nature earlier this month. Their research shows the world's spider population consumed between 360 and 725 MILLION TONS of prey in a year. While most spiders eat insects, many also consume small lizards, birds, and mammals. For comparison: humans eat 360 million tons of meat and fish each year.
With this information about how much spiders consume, Nyffeler and Birkhofer made an even more disturbing comparison: the total mass of adult humans on Earth is estimated at 260 million tons. Assuming kids are another 64 million tons, that's not even close to how much food spiders eat in a given year.
Basically, they could eat all of us and still hop over to Dairy Queen for a chocolate dipped cone.
The study also found out some other "interesting" facts about spiders:
- All the spiders on Earth would weigh 23 million tons, or the equivalent of 478 Titanics
- Spiders eat 10% of their body weight in a day, which is like a 200lb person eating 20lbs of meat in a day
- It would take 1984lbs of spiders to consume a 200lb man in one day (not that anyone was curious)
Basically, the scientists gave us some terrifying information about spiders should they choose to revolt.
And yes, spiders are actually great for us. They eat mosquitoes, they keep pests out of your garden, and they keep flies out of the house. But that doesn't mean I want one crawling next to my bed dreaming about what seasonings he'll use to consume me.