Myth busted: We don’t swallow eight spiders a year while we sleep

Bill Shear, the former president of the American Arachnological Society told Scientific American that spiders have absolutely zero interest in humans and “regard us much like they’d regard a big rock… We’re so large that we’re really just part of the landscape.”

Well thank God for that. I don’t believe I’ve ever swallowed a spider, but maybe someone on the Dope has. I do remember walking across a field when I was a kid and a small white moth flew into my mouth. I’ve hated them ever since.

Here’s a relevant article from

I once knew an old lady who swallowed a fly…

I don’t know why she would swallow a fly.

Spoiler alert!

She’s dead, of course.

How about a relevant article from the master himself?

There’s actuallya website that purported to be dedicated to tracking down Lisa Holst, who made the claim first, assuming she’s a real person, which may not be the case.

My personal favorite isthe CGPGrey video about it.

Yes…a part of the landscape that reliably pursues and crushes them on sight. a spider walking into our house is sort of like Bilbo walking into Smaug’s treasure cave.

Would you believe the Master’s Faithful Sidekick?

So if you relax the definition of spider to include dust mites (also an arachnid, I believe), does that change the numbers any? Those little microscopic dudes are everywhere, so you have to figure that if you smoosh your face against the pillow and then lick your lips, you’re probably going to end up with some very small amount of dust mite contributing to your daily protein intake.

I drink of glass of spiders once a year just to make sure I have that knocked out.

We can if we want to. :stuck_out_tongue:

I sit corrected.

When I was young I once woke up to a little tickle on my forehead, reached up and grabbed one of these callobius spiders and threw it across the room. It was about the size of a US quarter. Took awhile to get back to sleep.

O RLY? I wish he’d been around to tell the spider that bit my elbow as I was drifting off to sleep one night that I was “just a big rock” and not worth munching on. Go on, you try getting back to sleep after learning a large brown spider has chomped on you.

I don’t believe I ever have, either, but my wife swears by a story from her time pre-racepug when she was lying in bed in her apartment/condo near nightfall and noticed a spider on the ceiling. After she turned the light off she swears that the spider maneuvered itself into position and then dropped right on her face, completely freaking her out.

Interesting, the Snopes article for this myth was updated a couple of days ago, although it still includes the reference to Lisa Holst and PC Professional, which several people have tried to track down unsuccessfully.

After research by several people with a lot of free time, the strongest conclusion is that this was a test created by to see how well “news” organizations verify their sources. And failed the test. The Cracked article did not reference snopes–in fact, there was no reference at all–but they mentioned an article by the magazine writer Lisa Holst, both of which (the article and the writer) only seem to exist in the snopes article. Some of the other sources cited in the snopes article either don’t exist, or they don’t say what the article claims. Gotcha!

There are however, almost always insect and spider parts in our food.

That’s all black licorice is, really.

If you swallow spiders in your sleep and they die, do they become zombies like this thread?