Admit it, even if you’re not deathly afraid of spiders, the little monsters still send a shiver of respect down your spine whenever one happens to cross your path. Everyone can recite a few scary spider facts, and for good reason: these little natural marvels are abundant, diverse, and occasionally, very deadly. They look like nightmares made real too.
Spiders have adapted so many different skills and traits across the entire breadth of their evolution that they are WAY more horrifying than you could ever possibly comprehend. But hey, that’s what lists like this are for, to let you know exactly how scary spiders really are.
There’s a long-held notion that spiders are so common that no matter where you are, you’re always within arm’s reach of a spider. Well, that’s not entirely true - however, with more than 46,700 species of spider spread across the globe, there are certainly a whole lot of them.
In fact, the math comes closer to stating that if you’re visiting “the natural world,” then spiders are definitely all around you. As arthropod ecology professor Christopher Buddle puts it, "In most 'natural' habitats, I think it is true that you are always within three feet of a spider."
When people are bitten by a spider in the genus Loxosceles (which includes the fearsome brown recluse), they’re injected with a venom that causes blackened skin at the point of impact.
This black skin is caused by an extremely rare protein that essentially causes your cells to burst. These leads to "necrotic lesions," accumulations of festering tissue.
Spiders don’t have any real teeth, which forces these predators to subsist on an entirely liquid diet. Various species of spiders have different methods, but the result is the same. Every kind of spider has built-in venom that’s specifically designed to break down cell walls.
Some spiders have mandibles that eviscerate their prey and shovel the leftovers into their mouths where it can be dissolved, others spit their venom on their prey and give it time to do its work before slurping them up.
Beyond boggling your mind with the fact that there’s about a dozen spiders born every minute, this incredibly quick gestation period allows spiders to develop immunities to even the most deadly of poisons and insecticides.