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The Stuff of Nightmares: Spiders Could Eat All of Us in Under a Year…Theoretically

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Arachnophobes, beware: This is the stuff of your worst nightmares.

Spiders are relentless, unrepentant killing machines. They mostly eat insects, but some *gulp* larger spiders munch on more sizable prey, including lizards, birds, small mammals…and even snakes (click here for horrifying images).

Two European biologists – curious about exactly how much prey the “global spider community” kills annually – did some research and came up with some unsettling numbers.

Reporter Christopher Ingraham was kind enough to bring this study to our attention. He reminds us that spiders are “quite literally all around us” and that there’s a good chance “at least one spider is staring at you right now, sizing you up from a darkened corner of the room, eight eyes glistening in the shadows.”

How very comforting, especially considering the tidbits of information he’s about to drop.

Ingraham goes on to summarize the study’s findings (emphasis mine):

Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer published their estimate in the journal the Science of Nature earlier this month, and the number they arrived at is frankly shocking: The world’s spiders consume somewhere between 400 million and 800 million tons of prey in any given year. That means that spiders eat at least as much meat as all 7 billion humans on the planet combined, who the authors note consume about 400 million tons of meat and fish each year.

Or, for a slightly more disturbing comparison: 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.

Oh, but there’s more.

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.

Just how many spiders ARE out there?

…one study estimated that global average spider density stands at about 131 spiders per square meter.

And there’s this…

…spider densities of 1,000 or more individuals per square meter have been observed under certain ‘‘favorable’’ conditions.

“Favorable” is not defined.

Naturally, the good folks on Twitter are having some fun with this story…

Ingraham had a bit of fun with it himself…

And of course, because EVERYONE is on Twitter these days…

Of course, spiders are a beneficial part of the circle of life.

But it still might be best to sleep with one eye open.

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Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.

Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”



Source: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/the-stuff-of-nightmares-spiders-could-eat-all-of-us-in-under-a-year-theoretically_032017


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