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Brendan Bane

Spiders eat as much meat as all humans combined—no matter how you parse it

Arachnophobes should beware this hair-raisingly hilarious story from The Washington Post, which points out that the world’s population of spiders could theoretically eat every human on Earth in just a year. That reasoning comes from a Science of Nature report published this month, which estimates that each year the world’s spiders (which together weigh as much as 478 Titanics) consume 400 million to 800 million tons of prey. That means spiders eat at least as much meat as humans, who consume about 400 million tons of meat and fish each year. That’s also more than the biomass of all people on the planet. But before you rush to permanently enclose yourself in a plastic bubble, remember that—thankfully—spiders don’t actually eat humans and instead help keep the world’s other creepy crawlers in check.

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