Eating spiders--how do they know??

Everyone kinda “knows” the “fact” that everyone eats and average of X spiders in their sleep every year… but how do they know? Did they film a bunch of people sleeping for years and years and count the spiders? or did they just figure well… spiders walk around a lot… and they probably walk on your face… and sometimes you must end up eating them… ?

“Cluemobile? You’ve got a pickup…”
OpalCat’s site:
The Teeming Millions Homepage:


. . . . . . . . . .EAT ME!

How much you wanna bet there are a bunch of starving Anthro grad students who had to con their way into a grant and developed a field called Arachnostats?
Sounds like an urban myth to me. Who came up w/ this claim, and yeah–let me take a long, steely-eyed look at their research methods.
What are they defining as “spider”? An itty bitty, gross but near microscopic, airborne spiderling? After watching some truly disgusting Discovery Channel things on dust mites, think what the stats on ingesting those things would be! Are we counted as arachnivores (?) if we breathe in the airborne micro-beasties and swallow in our sleep?
Call me skeptical about junk science for bucks, but this one sounds like a howler.

This came from an article in the Smithsonian a few years back. It’s not that you eat n whole spiders, but that you breathe in/swallow assorted spider body parts (mostly legs) equivalent to n whole spiders. The article was about all the different things that are in the air that you breathe - it went through the different things by size. The spider legs just happened to be the most memorable thing mentioned in the article, so it got picked up by the popular press.

If I can find the article, I’ll post more details.

Yummm, Protein!!

Sorry for all you vegans out there! :wink:

Yeah, I’ve heard that too. Spiders are a classic UL topic. According to the legend-mill they’re in beehive hairdos, stalking you from under toilet seats, laying eggs in you skin and are a crucial ingredient BubbleYum.

Besides, I’m sure we are far to busy inhaling the countless dustmites that live in our pillows to be lettin’ spiders in…

A personal spider-eating story:

I once ate a tiny little house spider just to say I had done it. (Hey! We’ve had threads about this before and I’m not the only one!) But I couldn’t just pop it in my mouth and chew, so I put the spider in a spoonful of peanut butter and made a sandwich. I figured if I ate the whole sandwich I would have eaten the spider at some point. I also (mistakenly) thought since I wouldn’t know which bite had the spider in it, it wouldn’t bother me as much.

Good plan, but psychologically every bite had the spider in it, since I couldn’t be sure it didn’t.

And now you’re telling us that we breathe in spiders and dust mites and other unspeakable things…

All I can say is living is hazardous to your health.


“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham


Thanks a lot! As if I don’t have enough trouble sleeping. I’m holding you personally responsible for at least a weeks worth of crappy sleep. :wink:

I actually did eat a spider once while awake- by accident. I was drinking a glass of iced tea and was chewing on one of the ice cubes. I bit down on one and something got stuck in my tooth. I stuck my finger in and pulled it out- and it was a yummy squished spider that had gotten frozen in my ice cube! Blech!

The number I always hear is six spiders per year. I started a topic asking this same question several months ago, and I don’t think I got a real answer, so I don’t think there is one.

Pluto? If I were you, I’d be cured of peanut butter forever as well :slight_smile:


A spider sandwich is peanut butter spread neatly between two spiders.


Serves you right for locking spiders in the ice chest of your refrigerator.

Ray (What’s a leg or two missing when you have eight?)

dust is about 90% human skin. Therefore, we breathe in about 4 humans per year? lol

::inhales really deeply through nose:: Hey, where did Bob go?!

Snappy, The Crazy Toddite - Friend of Skippy

One time I put a corpse in some peanut butter and …

Ah, never mind!

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

I had an experience similar to the iced tea story - I usually take a glass of water & put it on the nightstand when I go to bed for middle-of-the-night thirsties. I drank out of the glass several times during the night and in the morning there was a little shriveled spider in the glass. I wondered at the time (and still do) if I would have noticed it if I drank the spider with the water. Do they have a distinctive taste? Salty? Spicy? Dusty (I have eaten a moth or two and they taste dusty)?. Would it have been chewy?
After wondering for a while I decided that I would have preferred to have swallowed the spider (to catch the fly?) and not known about it at all. Now I sometimes turn the light on before I drink…

Some mornings, it’s just not worth chewing through the leather straps.
– Emo Phillips

NanoByte said:

Come on, N.B., you don’t name a sandwich after the “bread” component – you name it after the filling.

On a related note, a ham sandwich on wry is a bad actor lying between two ironic writers.

Live a Lush Life
Da Chef