(KLIX) – Mankind may rule the earth, but if all of the world’s spiders came together we might say otherwise.

According to research by zoologists at the University of Basel in Switzerland and Lund University in Sweden, if the planet’s spiders amassed they could very well lay waste to us humans because of their voracious appetite.

Good thing they prefer insects.


Some 400 million to 800 million tons of prey is consumed by spiders annually, according to researchers Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer. Most of what they consume – about 90 percent – is insects, and because of it they have a huge ecological impact.

Viewed in another light, they could theoretically eat us all – or at least consume as much meat as us humans. According to the researchers, who published their findings in the journal The Science of Nature, humans consume about 400 million tons of fish and meat a year.

Thankfully, in this regard, Mother Nature has placed some checks and balances.

Some 8,000 to 10,000 species of “highly specialized” predators, parasitoids and parasites “feed exclusively on spiders,” according to the authors, and between 3,000 and 5,000 bird species “include spiders in their diets.”

How does all of this affect you?

Spiders, which apparently are quite gluttonous, are part of the food chain in which they both give and take. Maybe having them around the house isn’t such a bad thing after all – unless, of course, they start munching on you.