If you have arachnophobia then this article is not for you.
For the rest of the people, it’s a great opportunity to confront the frightening truth that if the spiders really wanted, they could eat all 7.2 billion of us humans in just one year.
Experts have revealed that the weight of everything that the entire population of spiders has eaten in a single year is greater than the combined weight of every single person in the world.
This is one kind of information that science proves and provides for us and in this case, we would be better off not knowing about it.
The annual “fresh weight” of insects that have been consumed by the entire community of spiders is between 400-800 metric tons of insects. This has been analyzed by researchers from Europe.
The research team from Europe put these numbers into context. The entire human population consumes about 400 million tons of fish and meat during a year and whales consume between 280 and 500 million tons of seafood annually.
This is terrible news for the spiders’ source of sustainable bug protein. However, this is the part that gets terrifying.
A group of researchers from Denmark and the U.S. surveyed 50 houses with a total of 554 rooms in Raleigh, North Carolina. In every single home, they have found spiders.
Of the entire 554 rooms that they searched, only 4 bathrooms and 1 bedroom had no bugs inside.
A writer for the Washington Post by the name of Christopher Ingraham makes a connection between the amount of food that spiders eat and the way that spiders live in every room in a house.
He came to the statistical conclusion that:
“The total biomass of all adult humans on Earth is estimated to be 287 million tons.
Even if you tack on another 70 million-ish tons to account for the weight of kids, it’s still not equal to the total amount of food eaten by spiders in a given year, exceeding the total weight of humanity. In other words, spiders could eat all of us and still be hungry.”
However, this is just a theory that spiders could eat the entire human population in a year.
The European researchers also found out that the entire spider population in the world can weigh just under 30 million tons and Mr. Ingraham made the connection to let us know that the number of spiders can be compared to around 478 Titanics which just one of the ships weighed around 52,000 tons.
Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland and Lund University in Sweden have referred to data from 65 other studies to see that about 25 million metric tons of spiders exist in the world.
Amongst these spiders are the ones that live in grasslands, deserts, forests, croplands, urban areas, and even tundra. This team even calculated the amount of food that the spider eats every day.
Mr. Ingraham also tells us that:
“Spider biologists have also generally found that spiders consume approximately 10 percent of their body weight in food per day. That’s equivalent to a 200-pound man eating 20 pounds of meat each day.
Conversely, it would take approximately 2,000 pounds of spiders to consume a 200-pound man in one day.”
Humans should be safe from becoming spider food in the near future, so there is no need to be scared to be eaten by spiders. Spiders feast on all kinds of bugs such as flies and mosquitoes.
If the spiders did not exist, the additional amount of bugs in the world will become way bigger than it is right now.
Even though it would be a dream from people that suffer from arachnophobia, they should keep in mind that the insects that are being controlled at the moment by the spiders might evolve and become more frightening.
The researchers that made this study hope that this will raise awareness and increase the appreciation of the role that the spiders have in their terrestrial food webs.