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Beware arachnophobes! Spiders could eat everyone on the planet in one year – and they’d still have room for more

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A new study has revealed the world’s arachnids (spiders) eat 400 to 800 million tonnes of prey every year – more than the weight of the entire human population of 287 million tonnes.

One study has estimated that there are an average of 131 spiders per square metre around the world.

While spiders are still outnumbered by ants, the amount they consume is at least as much as humans – who eat 400 million tonnes of meat and fish a year.

Published in the journal The Science of Nature, the researchers also calculated the total mass of all the spiders in the world.

Hair-raising facts

Their conclusion? They’d weigh in at about 25 million tonnes.

Compare that to the Titanic which weighed around 52,000 tonnes – that’s around 478 ‘Titanics’ worth of spiders.

A recent US study found 100 per cent of homes contained at least one spider, with most calling the bathroom (68 per cent) or bedroom (65 per cent) home.

So you can’t avoid them, but our eight-legged friends do have some benefits – their main prey are the cockroaches, moths and mosquitos scurrying around our homes.

At least until they start looking in our direction.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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