In what might be one of the most unsettling theoretical news stories we’ve ever featured here on Sick Chirpse, it turns out that the world’s spider population could eat every human being on the planet in the space of a year and still be hungry.
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A pair of biologists, Professor Klaus Birkhofer and Dr Martin Nyffeler, were the ones to discover this theory after they estimated that the world’s spider population eats between 400 million and 800 million tons of prey each year. This means that spiders eat as much meat as all 7 billion humans combined.
The estimates were based on the experts’ analysis of the feeding patterns of 65 spider species. Luckily for us, their prey mostly consists of lizards, birds and small mammals – as it stands, they don’t tend to snack on people… yet. But if they ever run out of their mealtime meatfeasts, they could turn their sights on people.
The professor’s reports, published in the ‘Science and Nature’ journal, also predicted that spiders eat a similar amount to the world’s whales every year:
The estimated standing biomass of the global spider community is impressive. There are few groups of terrestrial predaceous arthropods that can compare with spiders in terms of abundance and biomass.
We hope that these estimates and their significant magnitude raise public awareness and increase the level of appreciation for the important global role of spiders in terrestrial food webs.
This does NOT increase my level of appreciation for spiders. In fact, it does quite the opposite. I am, and always will be, shit scared of spiders. I know it’s irrational, but just watch this video of a huntsman’s nest and tell me it doesn’t make your skin crawl. You’d be lying if you said it didn’t.