Q:

How many spiders does a person eat in a lifetime?

A:

Quick Answer

Unless the spiders are being consumed on purpose, the average person is unlikely ever to swallow a spider. Occasionally, a ballooning spider might accidentally drift into a human mouth, but this is such an exceptional event that it would be difficult to derive an average figure for the general population.

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Full Answer

The myth of unintentionally swallowed spiders probably began with a chain email sent by an Internet columnist named Lisa Holst in the early 1990s. Holst spread the fabricated figure of four spiders per year as part of an experiment in public susceptibility to unfounded "facts." The myth took off and is routinely quoted by various sources.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many spiders do you eat a year?

    A:

    While a popular urban legend states that adults swallow an average of eight spiders a year, there is almost no chance of this happening by accident. Spiders are not likely to approach the mouths of large sleeping predators, and while a random event is possible, it is statistically unlikely.

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  • Q:

    How do spiders eat?

    A:

    After trapping prey, spiders eat by releasing digestive enzymes that liquefy food and make it easier to swallow. Spiders cannot consume solid food whole, so digested matter must be broken down to pass through their narrow digestive tracts.

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    What do spiders eat and drink?

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    Spiders mainly eat insects and drink water. Really big spiders may feast on small critters, like mice and birds.

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    What do spiders eat?

    A:

    All spiders are carnivorous, which means they eat a variety of insects and other spiders. Large spiders are able to eat small vertebrates like mice and small birds.

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