If spiders teamed up, they could theoretically kill and consume all humans on Earth in just one year.
A study published in March 2017 in The Science of Nature said an estimated 400-800 million tons of prey are killed annually by the global spider community. To compare, the estimated mass of all adult humans on Earth is about 287 million tons.
This also means spiders eat as much meat as all 7 billion humans on earth combined. The study says humans consume about 400 million tons of meat and fish each year.
The Washington Post reported on the study back in 2017 and added that even if you add about 70 million tons to the 287 million tons to account for the weight of children, it still wouldn't equal the total eaten by spiders every year.
Spiders could eat every human on earth and still be hungry for more.
The authors of the study, Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer, estimated these numbers based on existing research. They also estimated how many spiders live in a square meter of land for all the main habits and the average amount of food consumed by spiders of different sizes each year.
The study says there are about 45,000 species of spiders on Earth -- all with different lifestyles, habitats and eating behaviors. And while areas like harsh deserts and arctic tundras have the least amount of spiders, the authors said upwards of 1,000 spiders per square meter have been found in "favorable" conditions.
Another sobering thought: All spiders on Earth weigh about 25 million tons. That's about 478 Titanics. The ship weighed about 52,000 tons.
Luckily for humans, spiders mostly eat insects that annoy us like mosquitos, flies and agricultural pests. So, thank spiders for helping keep down the number of pests and for choosing not to eradicate the human race.
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