Spiders! Just the thought of these creepy-crawlies can make a person recoil in horror. There's plenty to fear, including rare spiders and spiders that hide in surprising places, but many of our concerns are based on myth rather than reality. A lot of scary spider stories get shared on the internet even though they're more fiction than fact, and a little digging can expose the lies behind such spider myths.
Distorted spider facts are making humans more scared of these creatures than we need to be. Knowledge is power, and knowing the truth about spiders can go a long way in curing your arachnophobia. Who knows, you may even end up trusting these little guys enough to avoid crushing them with your shoe.
The Myth: The average person eats roughly eight spiders a year while sleeping. This mostly occurs as spiders inadvertantly crawl into our mouths as we snooze.
The Reality: Spiders haven't evolved over millions of years to climb into random animals' mouths - that's a perfect recipe for doom. According to biologist Bill Shear, spiders don't even really perceive us in the way we perceive them. To them, we're so big that we're just part of the landscape. They tend to avoid us whenever possible, including when we're in bed. The slight vibrations our bodies give off are enough to trigger a spider's senses and let it know it needs to back away from danger.
The Myth: There might be baby spiders hatching under your skin right now. Spiders are known to bite humans and then lay their eggs inside the wound. Eventually, these eggs will hatch and a horde of baby spiders will emerge from your skin. This happened to a woman who was bitten on the cheek, and the babies emerged from the swollen lesion.
The Reality: While absolutely horrifying, this story is also absolutely false. Spiders do not lay eggs on or inside of humans for obvious reasons. Most spiders actively avoid humans whenever possible, and they definitely don't consider us to be qualified babysitters. There is no evidence to suggest that anything even remotely similar to this story has ever occurred in human history, so rest assured you are not host to a spider nursery.
The Myth: The venomous brown recluse spider is a terrifying threat in California, and locals are right to be terrified.
The Reality: While it's true that Californians fear the brown recluse, they really have nothing to worry about. That's because brown recluses don't even live in California, despite what people will tell you. The black widow is the most dangerous spider in California, and their bites only cause victims to perish in 5% of cases.
The Myth: Winter is coming, and spiders come with it. While spiders spend the majority of their time outdoors, they rush into homes during the winter months to keep warm.
The Reality: Good news! Spiders don't rush into your homes during the winter. Instead, they happen to be living with you year round. It's true that spiders are more visible during autumn, but that's not because they're invading your home. Spiders mate in the late summer and early autumn months, so you're more likely to see male spiders frantically searching for a mate.