Arachnophobia is the term used to describe the scare you feel when you see a spider or get the feeling that one is crawling on your back even when it is not. There are over 40,000 spider species in the world. Funny enough, only about a dozen are actually dangerous to human beings, and in most cases, they would rather run off than attack you. However, the fear of spiders is shared by a big percentage of the human population.
No matter how this fear of spiders has developed here are ten reasons why you really shouldn’t be afraid of spiders at all…
They Are More Afraid Of You Than You Are Of Them
Spiders are not out to kill you. Spiders are not the most welcome visitors in our homes as they tend to scare most people. They are actually not fond of humans either. The only reason spiders live and hunt in our homes is because we have encroached deep into their habitats, and our houses and household items provide warmer places to stay and breed. Before a spider goes on the offensive, it must feel threatened and trapped. That is why the ones stuck in your clothes or shoes may bite you, but that doesn’t happen every day. Naturally, the spider would rather run away for safety rather than attack.
Spiders Are Very Reasonable
Spiders are actually more reasonable than most people give them credit for. The venom that spiders carry is for killing their prey and, to some extent, self-defence. When threatened, they will either flee, hide, or in some cases, change their posture to appear bigger than they really are. When they feel totally trapped, they will sting you either without injecting any venom or just a small amount trying to get you to let them go. Even the black widow was discovered to prefer flight over fight when attacked by human beings. They only inject their full venom when they are caged and provoked.
Stings Are Rarely Fatal
While the data is not very clear, some reports suggest that spiders kill 7 people every year, which is way less than cows, which killed at least 20 people every year. Even the Wandering spider is rarely associated with any deaths despite only 0.6mg of its venom being proven to be able to kill a mouse. Spiders try to spare their venom as much as possible to use them for hunting prey they can liquify rather than defend themselves. Most deaths are associated with allergic reactions or underlying conditions. Besides, most spider venom can be neutralized with antivenin, which is readily available in most venom treatment centres.
Humans Are Not In Their Menu
Spiders are ferocious hunters that tend to eat anything that they can subdue. Their powerful venom paralyses their prey, causing all their vital organs to stop working, which eventually causes death. They then inject them with more venom, which causes all their internal organs to be liquefied, making them easier to eat. To liquefy prey, the spider should carry enough venom to go through the body of the prey, and they don’t have enough for any animal larger than them. That is why even the biggest spiders, such as the Goliath Bird-Eater, will only take on a prey smaller than them.
There Might Not Be Any Spiders
This might sound like something that is geography-based, but it also about the time of year as well. During the colder months, spiders tend to stay wrapped up warm and have no intension of coming out to scare you, so living in fear of them every day might well not be necessary. Then there is geography with some countries in the northern hemisphere not having any species of spiders at all! As a general rule the colder a country is the less there is and the hotter it is the more you will get.
Their Silk Is Amazing and Fascinating
Did you know spider silk was once used to make medical bandages! Also, it is so strong that pound for pound it is stronger than steel and some aeronautical companies are trying to develop the perfect spider silk to make the wings of aeroplanes!
Spiders Make Music With Their Webs
This is another amazing fact about spiders silk in which some species of spiders create music as they pluck the threads of their web to reveal information about the type of prey they have caught! The more the pray moves when it is plucked the bigger it is. This way they can pick and choose when to come out to inspect what they have caught. They also pluck the silk wires to test the structural integrity of the web which is another cool fact.
They Might Turn You Into a Superhero
OK, so this isn’t the world of radioactive spiders like in Spiderman, but it is about research into the bone structures of spiders some of which have amazing jumping abilities what might one day help some humans with bone density problems and might even be able to make peoples bones even stronger than they currently are.
Spiders Can Do Amazing Things
Not only can some spiders run 40X faster than humans and jump 10 x higher, but some can also even walk on water, some can use their webs to fly through the sky and yes! The spider-sense is a real thing as well with studies showing that a spider can “sense” a threat in a video that was 10,000 frames a second and featured 1 single frame with a picture of a bird and the spider reacted to it. That is a reaction time of 200 milliseconds!
They Do More Good Than Harm
Spiders eat all insects that are smaller than them, and on top of their menu are flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes kill over 700,000 people per year through the diseases they spread, which is why anything that reduces their population is a welcome addition. All the species of spiders are out to just reduce the population of these harmful disease spreaders naturally, which is why killing spiders is not always the best idea. When compared to most insects, we don’t fear as much, such as cockroaches and fleas; spiders are safer to live with.