Hey, here’s some happy news for you to drift off to sleep with tonight – if all of the spiders in the world worked together, they could polish off every single human on this godforsaken planet in a single year.
I, for one, welcome our new spider overlords. Why don’t they just get on with it, already?
So, currently spiders are more concerned with munching their way through the world’s population of insects, as well as a few who eat things like lizards, tiny mammals, and birds.
However, new research found that the total weight of what they eat in a year would massively outstrip the combined weight of every single human being on Planet Earth.
Isn’t that a nice thought?
This chilling and frankly disgusting discovery was made through the scientific rigour of Martin Nyffeler from the University of Basel in Switzerland, and Klaus Birkhofer from Lund University, Sweden, and the Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus, Germany.
Hopefully that last sentence was as fun for you to read as it was for me to write.
Nyffeler and Birkhofer published their findings in the journal The Science of Nature and the numbers that have been brought up are pretty amazing, even if they are gross.
They figure that spiders consume a gigantic 400 – 800 million tons of prey each calendar year. To put that into context, that’s at the very least as much meat as is consumed by all of the humans on the planet. We get through about 400 million tons per year.
To give that further context, that is more meat than can be provided by all of the humans on the planet. The total weight of the whole adult human population is around 287 million tons, give or take a few million tons (according to the National Center for Biotechnology in the US).
After all, what is a few million tons of mass between friends?
Add to that the extra 70 million tons or so that all the kids in the world provide, and we’re still well short of the weight that spiders eat.
To put that into easily understandable terms – spiders could munch down the whole sorry lot of us and still have room for dessert. That’s if they could be bothered.
Still want to put a pint glass over them and take them outside? Thought not.
This is because spiders eat about 10 percent of their body weight every day. So, a 10-stone human would have to consume a whole stone of food each day to keep up.
That said, it would take only 100 stones worth of spiders to eat the entirety of that guy.
It’s worth pointing out that this is actually a positive thing for us humans – it means that our eight-legged friends are eating through a hell of a lot of pests and bugs out there as they aren’t the slightest bit interested in eating all of us.
If that helps you sleep at night, you can believe that.