Spiders are everywhere and are of several thousands of varieties out there. They are present all over the world and survive almost all habitats, temperatures, etc.
Some of them are benign, and some are deadly, but most of them creep us out. So, today let us learn some surprising spider facts. Without wasting any further time, let us begin.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Chelicerata
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae
Spider Facts 1-10
1. There are around 38,000 known varieties or species of spiders. It is believed that there are many more species waiting to be discovered even now.
2. These arthropods are present on every continent except Antarctica.
3. This may be eerie for some but it is true. There are approximately a million spiders who live in an acre of land. This number triples if we are talking about tropical lands.
4. Did you know that spiders are not insects at all? They are arachnids (hence they belong to Arachnida family). Spiders don’t have antennae, unlike insects.
5. They have only two body parts (insects have three body parts). Other arachnids include mites, scorpions, ticks, etc. also have two body parts.
6. It is common knowledge that spiders use their webs to catch their prey. But there are a lot of spider species that don’t use the web to catch the prey. They actively hunt their prey.
7. It may be surprising, but spiders have muscles to pull their legs inside and not to pull them out! To pull their legs out, they make use of water present in their body.
8. They pump their body water to the legs so that the legs can be moved out!
9. Spiders use the hair present on their legs to touch and taste the prey. The spiders are nocturnal.
10. Thanks to their small mouth, they can’t eat their prey. They inject chemicals into the prey so that the victim dissolves. Once the prey dissolves, spiders suck the ‘prey’ up.
Spider Facts 11-20
11. Some of the spider species throw away the old web before starting to build a new one. There are some others who just eat the web up and there are web spiders who rebuild their web every day. An American species use the old web to cover its egg sac.
12. The silk that we get from spiders is present in liquid form in the spider’s abdomen. When they release, the liquid hardens when it comes in contact with air and forms into a thread.
13. The hair on the spiders’ legs help them walk upside down.
14. The silk from spiders is five time stronger than steel of same size and diameter.
15. Most of the spiders live on land, but few species live on and in water. These can run over the water surface.
16. Did you know that a house has an average of 30 spiders at any given point? The American house spider is one of the most common spiders seen in North America. Other common spiders are Brown Recluse, Jumping Spider, Sac Spider, etc.
17. It takes nearly an hour for a spider to spin its web.
18. Grass spiders build their webs on the grass, and their web is funnel-shaped. The web is not sticky, unlike the normal webs that we see in our homes.
19. However creepy they may look, most of the spiders are not dangerous to our health.
20. There are some species of spiders that have eight eyes. Some have six, and some have lesser than that. Spiders have an even number of eyes and not odd numbers.
Spider Facts 21-30
21. Spiders eat a lot of insects in a day. They can gulp down a hundred of small flies in one single day. They eat more insects than bats and birds combined! The edible prey is covered in silk so that the spiders can devour later.
22. Spiders are cannibals. There are several species of spiders that don’t think twice and kill and eat their counterparts.
23. There is one species in spider which is rightly called ‘Hawaiian happy-face spider’. It looks as if it is smiling. Unfortunately, it is on the verge of extinction.
24. A silk strand of spider which can encircle Earth would weigh just one pound.
25. Just like our beloved pets, spiders who stay indoors got habituated to indoor living. They don’t stand a chance to survive the outside world.
26. Spiders produce an electrically conductive glue that is spread over their webs. This makes the webs spring towards the prey. This glue even distorts the electric field of Earth within some millimeters of the web.
27. Most of the spider webs are sticky because of this glue. The glue droplets are three times thinner (in diameter) than our hair. According to scientists, glue droplets of spiders are similar to chewing gums.
28. As in the case of most of the animals, female spiders are bigger than the males.
29. Most of the spiders are attached to a silk thread so that they can’t fall. It also serves as an escape route just in case the need arises.
30. Most of the spiders live for a year.
Spider Facts 31-40
31. The only two spiders that are dangerous in North America are brown recluse and the black widow. However, CDC lists the hobo spider as a toxic spider, but researchers don’t think its venom is dangerous. Another deadly spider is the funnel web.
32. Did you know that tarantula hawk wasp attacks, stings, and paralyzes a female tarantula and lays eggs on that spider? Yes, she lays eggs on the tarantula when it is alive. The babies of wasp grow up eating the babies of the poor tarantula.
33. Tarantulas are so powerful that they can easily liquefy a mouse in just 2 days. They can live for over 20 years.
34. Venom of black widow is 15 times stronger and powerful than rattlesnake’s poison.
If you are wondering what is the difference between poison and venom, just click here and learn!
35. The bolas spider’s glue droplet has a smell similar to that of a female moth. This attracts moths to the web, and once they reach the web, bolas spider preys on it.
36. Just like all the arthropods like cockroaches, spiders have an exoskeleton. As they have an exoskeleton, they undergo molting at least ten times in their lifetime.
37. As per a Greek myth, there was a girl called Arachne who used spin so well that Athena got jealous and turned her into a spider.
38. It was earlier believed that humans swallow spiders while they are sleeping. But it is now proved that it is nothing but a myth.
39. Drugs have effects on the way spiders spin their webs. When they are high on LSD, they spin stunningly beautiful webs. When they are high on caffeine, their webs look awful.
40. According to scientists, the shape of the webs that spiders make can tell detect chemicals and pollutants in their surroundings.
Spider Facts 41-50
41. Males (humans) experience painful and prolonged erections (along with other symptoms) when bit by a Brazilian wandering spider.
42. All the species can spin silk. However, not all species can weave webs.
43. Most of the spiders drop semen on the web and suck it up using their pedipalps (leg-like structures) and then use pedipalps to insert semen in the female.
44. Spiders that can weave webs have two or three claws at each leg so that they can move from one strand to another strand without getting stuck in the glue droplets.
45. Apart from those claws, they also produce some oily substance that keeps them from getting stuck.
46. Spiders have four legs. When a spider walks, it uses only four of its legs.
47. The only vegetarian species of spider in the entire world is Bagheera kiplingi.
48. The spider webs that are abandoned are called cobwebs. The word cob is a shortened form of attercop, an Old English word, meaning poison head.
49. We use the word insect to every other animal so much that even in early Spiderman comic books, the radioactive spider was called an insect!
50. The venom of a brown recluse is so dangerous that it causes red blood cells to burst. It also causes other symptoms like jaundice and acute kidney injury. It is furthermore critical because the bite is painless. The person may not even realize that he is bitten. After some time, the skin starts swelling, and it becomes excruciating. If not treated, it could even kill the person.
Spider Facts 51-60
51. Spiders have blue blood.
52. The venom of the black widow causes nerve-related problems. It blocks the signals of nerves going to muscles, which leads to painful and repeated contraction of muscles. Other symptoms include restlessness, facial spasms, and high blood pressure.
53. It is important to note that many factors are considered when a spider bite like the amount of venom injected, size and age of the person, etc. Older people and children are more vulnerable.
54. The part which produces liquid silk is called a spinneret. It is more or less similar to a showerhead. Each spider has around 2 to 6 spinnerets at the back of its abdomen.
55. Giant trapdoor species of spider is generally considered as living fossil as it is similar to spiders that lived some 300 million years ago. They are found in Japan, China, southeastern Asia, etc.
56. Goliath spider or Theraphosa blondi is the world’s biggest spider. It can grow up to 11 inches wide, and its fangs are nearly one inch long. Frogs, mice, lizards, small snakes, and birds are their prey.
57. The smallest spider in this world is Patu marplesi.
58. Tarantula is one of the feared spiders in the world because of its big size, but its venom is pretty weak. Its bite is similar to that of the sting of a wasp.
59. Banana spider or Brazilian Wandering Spider is the most venomous spider in the world. It is present in the forests of South America and Central America. A little amount of poison is enough to kill a human.
60. Spiders are used in many fiction books and movies like E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web (where Charlotte, a spider, is lovely and saves her friend Wilbur, the pig), SpiderMan comics, series, and movies.
Spider Facts 61-70
61. Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders. Ironically, this phobia is seen more in North America and Europe and in tropical places where there are far more and bigger and hairy spiders present.
62. The word ‘spider’ is originated from the Old English word, ‘spithra’ which is related to German word, ‘spinne’. Both spithra and spinne mean spinner. The word ‘spinster’ also came from these two words. Spinster means one who spins the thread.
63. Spiders can walk upside down but they can’t get out of the bathtub as the surface of the bathtub is just too slippery.
64. Scientists made space robots like ‘Spidernaut’ and they took inspiration from spiders. Spidernaut, a mechanical spider, is designed to move out of the spacecraft so that it can repair.
65. Spiders have seven types of silk glands. The silk is sticky, silky, dry, stretchy, or smooth as per the needs of the spider.
66. Did you know that the web made of spider’s silk of the thickness of a pencil can literally stop a Boeing 747 jumbo jet? Scientists till date can’t replicate the elasticity and strength of that silk.
67. You can find spiders that throw nets or webs over the prey to catch the prey. These spiders are found in tropics.
68. Hummingbirds use sticks and silk from spider’s web to weave their nest.
69. Gold orb’s web would last for years and it can even catch birds.
70. If you want to stay away from any variety of spider, it should be funnel web. It actively attacks and bites humans. On top of it, it is poisonous, its venom can kill in 15 minutes. Fortunately, there is an antivenom for it and mishaps due to funnel web are now rare.
Spider Facts 71-80
71. Wolf spiders can run at a speed of 2 fps or feet per second.
72. Male spiders bring dead flies as gift or present to female spiders.
73. It is a known fact that spiders can’t fly but they can sail through air on a silk thread. This is called ballooning.
74. The only spider called diving bell spider (Argyroneta Aquatica) that can live in water for their whole life is water spider. They create something called ‘diving bell’. Diving bell helps the water spiders to spin webs underwater and live underwater. They use their legs as fishing pole to catch tadpoles, insects, small fish, etc. These spiders are seen in Asia and Europe. The spiders’ bites are painful and can cause fever, vomiting, and inflammation in humans.
75. There is a spider variety that looks like a bird’s poop. Hence it is called the bird-dropping spider. It is a form of camouflage so that it can protect itself from birds.
76. You can see two varieties of jumping spiders at a height of 23,000 feet. There are no plants at this height but some leaves and other plant material blow from a lower height which is sufficient to feed those spiders.
77. These jumping spiders can jump up to 40 times their body length. Their muscles are not that strong but they contract abdominal muscles and this pushes water into their legs and they jump or leap up. When they die, they curl up because of this reason.
78. Whenever wheel spider is afraid, it rolls up and rolls over the sand.
79. Centuries ago, people used spider web on wounds as they thought that it would stop bleeding. Don’t think it is crazy because scientists reported that webs contain vitamin K which indeed helps in reducing bleeding.
80. There are a variety of webs created by spiders. Some of the varieties are ladders, sheets, tangles, orb, etc.
Spider Facts 81-90
81. US Defense Department’ scientists are trying to imitate the silk of gold orb so that they can make bulletproof vests.
82. The strongest material produced by a living organism is produced by Darwin bark spider. They can sustain rivers, streams and is 10 times stronger than Kevlar.
83. Most of the spiders are solitary. Some of the spiders of Africa and India are social and cover a single tree or trees for miles with their webs.
84. The female black widow is dangerous, a male black widow is not really harmful. A female black widow is the one who builds webs and catches prey. Males are only interested in mating. Females sometimes eat males after mating.
85. A red widow male spider forces a red widow female spider to eat him while mating! Even if she spits him out, he repeatedly forces her till she eats him up.
86. Spiders (female, of course) lay around 3,000 eggs at a single time. Babies of spiders are called spiderlings. Most of the spiders don’t stay with their young ones, the only exception is wolf spiders. The mother wolf spider carries its babies on its back.
87. Female black widow has to mate only once in her lifetime which is 2 years. Once she mates, she can produce eggs for the rest of the life.
88. Some tarantulas throw their tiny hair called urticating hair at predators to keep them away just like how the porcupines do.
89. Some species like jumping spiders can see UVA and UVB light.
90. There are over 100 species of spiders that look similar to ants. Some do it to stay away from predators and some do it to prey on ants.
Spider Facts 91-100
91. People in the 16th and 17th centuries believed that if a person is bitten by a wolf spider, it would be fatal unless the victim dances frenziedly to a specific type of music. This inspired a local dance called tarantella.
92. You can find a spider just 10 feet away from you.
93. Peter Parker was bitten by noble false widow spider or Steatoda Nobilis.
94. As everyone would guess, false black widows are less harmful than true black widows. One way to tell whether the black widow is true or false is to look for the hourglass pattern. Hourglass pattern is present on a true black widow.
95. The first painting of cobweb dates back to the 16th century from the Austrian Tyrolean Alps’ Puster Valley. The paintings by the monks were a part of their religious practices. There are only 100 known cobweb paintings known till now.
96. The venom of spider is now studied by scientists as it has potential in medicine and non-polluting pesticide.
97. As per a research, spiders evolved from a arachnid ancestor around 400 million years ago. They were first present in water in the Early Devonian period. The silk glands were evolved so that they can protect their bodies and eggs.
98. A silk egg-case contains hundreds and thousands of eggs.
99. According to a theory, spiders can devour humans (all of them) in a year! As per studies, the entire population of spiders eats 400 to 800 million tons of prey. This mass is way more than the total mass of humans which stands at 287 million tons.
100. We have spiders as pets but they don’t recognize us. Their nervous system has only two ganglia and hence they can’t recognize their owner’s faces. Having said that, some species develop different personalities or different behavior patterns.
Spider Facts 101-105
101. Wolf spider’s eyesight is amazing. They live for 12 to 18 months. They grow from 0.24 to 1.2 inches.
102. Spiders have 48 knees as each leg of spider has 6 joints and hence there are 48 knees.
103. The longest living spider is number 16 or a trapdoor spider. It lives for 5 to 20 years. One trapdoor spider lived up to 43 years from 1974 to 2016.
104. Female spiders live longer than males. Lizards are the major predators of spiders.
105. Tarantulas are famous as pets and they are low maintenance too!