Okay. I’m hyperventilating. I don’t like anything with more than four legs as a general rule. So I wasn’t pleased when I saw a report from the Washington Post alleging that headline. That’s right. If you add up the weight of all of the food eaten by the world’s entire spider population in a single year, it is more than the combined weight of every human on the planet.
Humans beware: if the world’s present population of spiders ever get organized, they could eat us all in just 12 months.
At the moment, spiders mostly eat insects, although some of the larger species have been known to snack on lizards, birds and even small mammals. Martin Nyffeler of the University of Basel in Switzerland and Klaus Birkhofer of Lund University in Sweden and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg in Germany, published their findings in the journal Science of Nature.
They discovered spiders across the globe consume between 440.9 and 881.8 million tons of prey in any given year.
This means that spiders eat at least as much meat as all seven billion humans on the planet combined. The Post said they also highlighted a disturbing comparison – the total biomass of all adult humans on earth is estimated to be 316.3 million ton. Even if you tack on another 77 million or so 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 more terrifying words: spiders could eat all of us and still be hungry.