They say that a person will eat aleast 4 spiders in their liftime....

When or if a person swallows a spider will the stomach acids kill it instantly…or even at all? I am extremely scared of spiders…and if it is enevitable that i will swallow one at one time or another in my lifetime I would like to know if it will die when it reaches my stomach…Please Help!:confused: :frowning:

I don’t know how well such a critter would fare in a stomach, but the statement that people will eat X number of spiders is a hoax. It was part of a list of made-up statements that were intended to be so absurd that everyone would know they weren’t true. The author underestimated human gullibility. I’m pretty sure that Snopes has a report on it. (

I know that the posted list of things meant to be so absurd that it can’t be believable is what you said it is…but if you think about it, it is very plausible…spiders are everywhere big and small and normally people sleep with thier mouths open. what would stop a spider from just crawling in your mouth? If one happened to can anyone anwer my question on if it will die when it hits your stomach?

A hoax you say?


I heard that it was seven spiders per year!

I didn’t fancy the idea of that, so I ate about two thousand* of them all at once; best to get these things dealt with once and for all.

*[sup](I figure that the law of averages owes me about a 300 year lifespan now)[/sup]

btw, it’s plausible that people who sleep with their mouth open might ingest invertebrates in the night, what is implausible is that anyone has any kind of meaningful and accurate statistics on the matter. I mean, how would you measure average spider consumption?

any ingested insect or arachnid is generally dead long before it hits the stomach. But if it made it to the stomach alive, no, it would not die ‘instantly’. It might take a minute or 3.

Crawl into your mouth? Heck, why would a spider need to go to that much trouble? There are probably already spiders in the foods you’re eating anyway. At least spider parts. Big deal.

There’s a Straight Dope Staff Report regarding Does the average person consume four spiders per year in his sleep?:

In short, spiders flee breath, so I’ll agree with the consensus and say it’s just not true that you consume them in your sleep. In your food is another question though…

Hunniebunnie: Don’t let Qadgop frighten you. He’s a doctor in a prison and has had to acquire a threatening demeanor.

Used to be a real sweet guy too! :wink:

But he’s right, the stomach doesn’t differentiate between a burger and a spider. It’s all food to the stomach. And I agree with the others: It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ingest a spider. :slight_smile:

(Whew! I’m glad I previewed that one. On the first try I had left the a out from between in and prison up there!) That mighta cost me a few bucks, huh?


Often the truth is mistaken for a threatening demeanor. And thanks for previewing, quasi.

Spiders, lobsters, shrimp, it’s all the same to the digestive tract.

Shakespeare, as ever, says it all:

There may be in the cup
A spider steep’d, and one may drink, depart,
And yet partake no venom, for his knowledge
Is not infected: but if one present
The abhorr’d ingredient to his eye, make known
How he hath drunk, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts. I have drunk,
and seen the spider.

The Winters Tale, Act II, Scene 1

I guess I have to return to Brazil, as I have only eaten two spiders so far in my life. The tarantulas cook up a lot like soft-shelled crab only sweeter.

You’ve eaten tarantula? Cool! What part do you eat, the legs? What color is the meat when cooked? (Raw insect innards look pretty gross, but I don’t remember what spiders look like on the inside) I’ve found some photos of people eating tarantulas (do a text search for “cooked”) but no closeups.

The way I heard it was, a lot of household dust consists of tiny bits of dead animals – spider legs, fly feces, flakes of human skin. Add up all the spider bits and over the course of a lifetime you swallow *the equvalent of *X number of spiders.

Of course, in Australia we have Stomach Spiders, that actually creep on to your face in the night and lay their eggs in your mouth. The eggs and young spiders have evolved such that they are acid proof, so they survive your digestive tract. Later, you get itchy you-know-where and then, well, you have a bathroom full of the little bastards, and they crawl from there to your bedroom, and on the cycle goes.

But frankly, I don’t mind them because they hunt and feed on intestinal worms. It all balances out in the end.

Can I tempt you to a trip to Oz, Hunnybunnie?

Dude…I’ll have to call you on that. Cite?



Haplopelma minax is an edible species of tarantula. Most pet stores wouldn’t carry it, since it’s an aggressive species that’s best left to experienced tarantula owners. It is available from some tarantula suppliers, but it’s rather pricey – probably upwards of $50, depending on the size.

Is anyone else not bothered by the thought of insect and spider bits being in our food? I wouldn’t deliberately set out to eat them, but if they’re all ground up and I don’t have to know about it… <shrug>