Top 10 Myths About Spiders

The Top 10 Myths About Spiders

Here you can read all about the top 10 myths about spiders. The fear of spiders is one of the greatest fears of many humans all over the world.
Here you can read all about the top 10 myths about spiders. The fear of spiders is one of the greatest fears of many humans all over the world.

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Top 10 Myths About Spiders

Arachnophobia is of course the fear of spiders and many people all over the world fear spiders. Some people say it's because spiders look the least like humans of anything on earth but I think it might have something to do with those eight legs and the multiple sets of eyes. I won't say I'm deathly afraid of spiders but I don't want them living with me and I can tell you for sure that I don't want one crawling on me. So I guess you could say I have arachnophobia. How about you.

Down throughout the ages there have been many myths about spiders. Here we will explore some of the more popular myths about spiders.

Most of these myths have been made up or perpetrated to make people already afraid of spiders terrified. Some of these myths have a bit of truth in them and then they are built on and spread and grow until they take on a life of their own.

Myth About The Grand Daddy Long Legs Spider

The Grand Daddy Longlegs Spider has no poison in it at all. It has no fangs to bite you with and again it has no poison or venom in it.
The Grand Daddy Longlegs Spider has no poison in it at all. It has no fangs to bite you with and again it has no poison or venom in it.

The Myth About The Grand Daddy Long Legs Spider

In case you don't know there are two distinct arthropod groups that the name Grand Daddy Long Legs is applied to. One is the cellar spider which is in the photo above and the other is Crane Flies which are not spiders at all. They are insects.

No one knows where the myth about the Grand Daddy Long Legs Spider being the worlds most deadly spider that lacks the ability to bite a human got started. Actually they can manage to bite you though it rarely happens but their bite is harmless. They have no poison or venom that will harm a human being. They do have a very mild venom but it is for their insect prey.

It's interesting that I've heard this myth being stated as fact from everyone from journalists to high school teachers.

The spider lives in cellars, basements, and in cool dark places. They build irregular webs that are not sticky. Their webs catch the insect prey in the tangled web and then the spider either eats the insect or bundles it away for later use.

In the American south this is one of the spiders that tries to make its way inside the house when the first sign of cold weather appear. Many people have theorized that it is the heat from the door that draws the spider into the house. But once again they really are harmless and definitely not the worlds most deadly spider.

Carolina Writing Spider

A Golden Orb Weaver Spider or as it is most commonly known as a Carolina Writing Spider. In case your wondering you won't die if they write your name in their web. Spiders of no kind can really write. So you have nothing to worry about.
A Golden Orb Weaver Spider or as it is most commonly known as a Carolina Writing Spider. In case you're wondering you won't die if they write your name in their web. Spiders of no kind can really write. So you have nothing to worry about.

The Carolina Writing Spider Will Not Write Your Name In Its Web

There has long been a myth in the American south especially that some way the Carolina Writing Spider knows when your going to die and it will write your name in its web. You then of course die. And someone always knows someone who this happened to but you can never find a person who actually saw a name written in a web. And of course you can't find a spider web with a name written in it. Simply because no spider can spell or write a name or words in their web.

The popular children's story, " Charlotte's Web " came from this myth. Charlotte the spider in the story saved the Pig Wilbur's life by writing words about the pig in its web.

Actually the Carolina Writing Spider doesn't actually exist. It's really a Golden Orb Weaver Spider. They really do have some impressive webs but no names are ever written in the webs. The patterns in their webs can look really unique and this is probably where the myth about them writing names in their webs came from.

You'll also often hear the myth in the American south that the spiders are really escaped Banana Spiders that escaped from bananas shipped into the American south way back when. They are not Banana Spiders. This is only another urban legend myth that has been spread through the years from one person to another.

Camel Spiders Don't Hide On The Stomachs Of Camels

Camel Spiders can not run 25 miles a hours or in some cases out run trucks in the dessert of Iraq. Most of everything you know about them is myth and urban legend.
Camel Spiders can not run 25 miles a hours or in some cases out run trucks in the dessert of Iraq. Most of everything you know about them is myth and urban legend.
I don't know about you but I don't want a camel spider wandering around my house. Even if it can't out run trucks or kill you with its bite.
I don't know about you but I don't want a camel spider wandering around my house. Even if it can't out run trucks or kill you with its bite.

You Probably Got The Email About The Camel Spiders Of Iraq

In the email that made the circles just after the Iraq war started the claims were made that the Camel Spider could run at 25 miles an hour. That it made a hideous screaming sound as it ran at you. That it was over a foot long and over a foot around and that it was extremely venomous with a venom that caused the person that was bitten fall over screaming and shaking before they died a few minutes later. Oh yes and they supposedly hid on the stomachs of camels and that is why they were called camel spiders. Can you say spooky. Sounds a lot like a made for Hollywood movie doesn't it.

The camel spider is really not a spider at all but rather an solifugid that is a arachnid like spiders and scorpions. They rarely get over six inches in length and they can only run about 10 miles an hour. They also aren't carrying around a dangerous venom and no they haven't been biting and killing American soldiers in the desert. They aren't venomous but their powerful jaws can create a powerful bite.

No one in Iraq or anywhere else has ever seen a giant web made by a camel spider with cats or dogs caught in it. The Camel Spider does not make a web of any type. But I can see where the story of a spider that could build a web that could catch cats or dogs could be really scary. But it's just not true. It's a myth or urban legend.

Sometimes I'm amazed at what people will believe to be the absolute truth. Especially if it comes in the form of an email from a professor at National Geographic. And asks you to keep forwarding the email to all your friends and relatives.

But on the truthful side of things I don't want to run into a camel spider. I would probably scream, run into the wall and knock myself out. How about you.

No Spiders Aren't Making A Home In Your Hair

Here's another busted myth or urban legend about spiders. No one has ever had spiders living in their hair.
Here's another busted myth or urban legend about spiders. No one has ever had spiders living in their hair.

Busted The Myth Or Urban Legend About Spiders Living In Your Hair

According to those famous emails they were small black spiders that according to which version of the email you were reading lived either in your hair deep down next to the scalp or they lived in the hair braids of little girls. In some versions of the story they were swarming black spiders each about the size of a dime that at some point in time were going to swarm and eat the scalp and head of the person's head they were living on.

Reporters and preachers went on TV, radio, and in newspapers across the American south and warned of these swarming black spiders that first lived on and later swarmed on the heads of people. Fear is a great thing in some cases and this one really scared people. Women were going into beauty shops all around asking the beauticians to check their heads and the heads of their children for the spiders they were sure were hiding there.

Believe it or not but this story has been appearing around the United States for 40 - 50 years and it was recently reported as fact on a Monroe Louisiania Fox News TV Station. Come on people check your sources and find out if its myth or urban legend or the truth.

There are no small black spiders living on anyones head. The emails about it are well simply a hoax. There has never been a true documented case of spiders living in anyones hair. But I can see how it could freak people out.

Busted Myth Or Urban Legend. There is a spider with in three feet of you no matter where you are.

There is a funnel web spider in this photo. There is a myth that there is always a spider with in three foot of everyone on earth. This one isn't really true either.
There is a funnel web spider in this photo. There is a myth that there is always a spider with in three foot of everyone on earth. This one isn't really true either.

Busted Myth Or Urban Legend. There is a spider with in three feet of you no matter where you are.

Here is another myth or urban legend that just simply isn't true though it is closer to the truth than most of the other myths and urban legends about spiders listed here. As of right now there have been 43678 species of spiders identified

Scientists agree that probably no matter where you are on earth with the exception of Antarctica there are spiders with in a few hundred yards of you. In some parts of the world there probably is a spider with in 50 feet of you. In some more densely spider populated areas its closer than that. But three foot is a stretch. If it was truly three feet it would mean that there was nowhere that you could lay down or set down without touching or being extremely close to a spider.

Keep in mind that spiders are very beneficial to humans in that spiders eat huge amounts of insects. The weight of all the insects eaten each year on earth are greater than the weight of all the humans on earth and that is a true fact and not an urban legend or myth.

Most spiders are harmless to humans but there are a few that could potentially kill you. Here in the United States those species are the black widow, the brown recluse, and the hobo spider. There are a few other species of spider that can make you sick but won't kill you.

Tarantulas are large hairy spiders that are a really misunderstood spider. They are not usually venomous and can't hurt you though they can scare you. The largest tarantulas can actually catch and eat lizards, mice, and birds. The Dinner Plate Tarantula is really about the size of a dinner plate but it is harmless. But I'm not going to be getting one for a pet anytime soon.

Black Widows Eat Their Mates

In some cases it is true that black widow females will eat their mates. The male black widow spider is a lot smaller than the female spider. And she will from time to time consume her mate.
In some cases it is true that black widow females will eat their mates. The male black widow spider is a lot smaller than the female spider. And she will from time to time consume her mate.

Black Widows Eat Their Mates

This one isn't entirely untrue its just some what misunderstood. Upon mating the female will sometimes kill and consume the male. It's really where the spiders name came from and why a female human is often called a black widow that kills her husband.

But the female black widow spider doesn't kill her mate quite as often as you might think. The southern black widow spider which is the spider in the photo above will kill and eat her mate. This happens a lot more often with this particular spider species than it does with other black widow spiders.

The female black widow spider will more aggressively defend her nest than other spiders and the southern black widow spider will do this more than other black widow spiders. She often builds an irregular nest and she hangs her egg sac high in the nest and watches over it. She will lay hundreds of eggs but only about 20-30 of her babies will ever become adult black widow spiders.

In the rural American south it's a good ideal to watch out for these spiders hiding in your outdoor mail box or in your wood pile. If you know black widow spiders are about wear long sleeves and gloves if you carry in or work with your wood. These spiders most often bite when they are crushed or mashed. If you think you may have been bitten by a black widow spider catch it and seal it in a container if you can and go to the doctor or emergency room as soon as possible. Don't delay because it's very important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.

In nature the spider wasp is this spiders greatest enemy. The Blue Mud Dauber Wasp is this spiders greatest enemy. It stings the black widow spider and lays its eggs in the spider. When they hatch they kill and devour the host spider.

You Swallow Eight Spiders A Year While You Sleep

This one is busted as a myth or urban legend. Almost no one swallows a spider while they are asleep. The fellow in the photo above is eating fried tarantulas which is a delacacy in Cambodia.
This one is busted as a myth or urban legend. Almost no one swallows a spider while they are asleep. The fellow in the photo above is eating fried tarantulas which is a delacacy in Cambodia.

You Swallow Eight Spiders A Year While You Sleep

No one is eating spiders while you sleep and no you don't need to cover your mouth with duct tape while you sleep. There is a woman named Lisa Holtz that started this urban myth by sending out a series of emails warning people that if they weren't careful that they would swallow spiders while they were sleeping. She said that people were willing to believe almost anything they read online and I believe she accomplished what she started out to do.

It wasn't long before suggestions started to appear on the internet that people should cover their mouths with a piece of duct tape while they slept. I wonder how many people actually applied a piece of duct tape across their mouth before they went to sleep. I will tell you I never did though I do remember those emails.

I've often wondered where did they come up with eight spiders a year. Why not forty, eighty, or a hundred spiders a year. Its sad but people are really gullible. You can find a certain amount of people who will believe almost anything.

Now this story may have some basis in fact. If you lay down in a camper or house that has not been occupied in a number of months to a few years there may indeed be spiders, perhaps a healthy population of spiders and they may indeed walk across you while your asleep. People have often felt them on their face and assumed the spider was attempting to crawl in their mouth when this just simply isn't true. The spider is just moving around and trying to see what has invaded its home. Clean up well and remove any cob webs and the spiders should retreat.

And no you don't have to cover your mouth with duct tape before you go to sleep.

Buted Myth Or Urban Legend. Spiders Don't Lay Eggs Under The Skins Of Humans

This is another busted myth or urban legend. Spiders do not lay eggs under the skin of humans. It just doesn't happen.
This is another busted myth or urban legend. Spiders do not lay eggs under the skin of humans. It just doesn't happen.

Buted Myth Or Urban Legend. Spiders Don't Lay Eggs Under The Skins Of Humans

Here again is one of those infamous emails. A friend of a friend went overseas and while there they got bitten by a spider. When they got home the bite swelled and then one day it burst open and the person noticed baby spiders coming out of the wound. Come on now who would believe this one. But as PT Barum said you can fool some people every time.

I don't know at the number of emails that I've received from people who were afraid that a bite they received was going to burst open and out would come a stream of baby spiders. This one is I assure you a myth or urban legend and it has never happened to anyone.

Spiders have no way to inject the eggs inside of you and spiders are real particular about where they put their eggs and what they do with them.

Now this story could quite possibly have come from a bot fly which is indeed a fly which lays an egg under the skin of a human and then the egg hatches and develops under the skin of the human before the fly eats its way out and flys off. I've seen a video of this and it is well gross.

But I assure you that there is no spider in the world that is going to lay an egg or eggs under your skin. It's just a myth or urban legend and nothing else. So don't worry about this one.

Myth Or Urban Legend, Don't Kill It Put It Outside.

Busted Urban Legend Or Myth. Many people will say don't kill it put it outside. But if you put a spider outside especially in winter you might as well kill it.
Busted Urban Legend Or Myth. Many people will say don't kill it put it outside. But if you put a spider outside especially in winter you might as well kill it.

Myth Or Urban Legend, Don't Kill It Put It Outside.

If I see something like that crawling down my wall or across the floor I'm most likely going to knock it on the floor and introduce it to my size 15 boots. But some soft hearted people will tell you not to kill a spider if you find it in the house but instead catch it and turn it loose outside.

Now that might work in summer but if you do it in winter you are most likely dooming the spider. If it has already been living in your warm house for weeks or months its going to die rather quickly if you catch it and put it out in the cold winter air. It's not going to survive. It's in your house because it came inside to get away from the cold. The warm air that comes out a door at the early part of fall and winter draws the spiders inside to try to live where its warmer.

Ideally you should cut bushes and trees away from your house to prevent spiders from finding their way inside. Be sure to fill any and all holes and clean your gutters on a regular basis. Don't allow any branches or limbs to touch your house. If you do the spiders can find their way inside. In the early fall as soon as it turns cold wash down the outside of your house with a strong insecticidal soap. This will get rid of the spiders and they won't be coming in the house.

Myth Or Urban Legend. Spiders Can't Get Caught In Their Own Webs

Myth Or Urban Legend. Spiders Can't Get Caught In Their Own Webs. In the photo is a small male orb web weaver spider and a larger female of the same species. These spiders are often found in the yard or garden.
Myth Or Urban Legend. Spiders Can't Get Caught In Their Own Webs. In the photo is a small male orb web weaver spider and a larger female of the same species. These spiders are often found in the yard or garden.

Myth Or Urban Legend. Spiders Can't Get Caught In Their Own Webs.

You would think this one is true but it isn't. In fact quite a few spiders are often caught in their own webs and are quite often killed by others of their species. In some species of spiders this may be as high as 7 percent of that particular species.

Most spiders though you don't notice it walk very carefully through their webs to make sure they do not become entagled or trapped in their own webs.

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So what did you think about the Top 10 Myths About Spiders? Please Post A Comment. Thanks For Reading. 15 comments

crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 2 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Thanks for your comment. It is appreciated. They have always creeped me out. And I mean always.


Colin323 2 years ago

I cannot stand the look of them, and this goes back to when I was 9 or 10 and one climbed on my bare leg; I ran around like a crazy, screaming and wailing. However, I know they are more scared of me than I am of them and your article confrms their overall benefit to manking. But I wish they had evolved to look less hideous! Great informative article.


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 3 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Your very welcome. Thanks for the comment.


Peyton Walker profile image

Peyton Walker 3 years ago

incredible article! Thanks


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 3 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Neil can you provide us with a link to where this story is. I think it may well be another Urban Myth about spiders.


Neil 3 years ago

Some spiders can lay eggs inside your eyeball while you sleep. 6 weeks later the hatchlings violently burst out, usually unsuspectingly, often times this results in death.


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 3 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Don't feel bad I also heard the myth about eating spiders on the CBS morning news about 20 years ago. I remember they also reported the Grandaddy Long Legs Poison Spider Story. I appreciate your comment.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

I am ashamed to admit that I did believe the one about eating spiders because I remember it being reported on the news as if it were established fact. I think I even passed this info along to my children, and I feel embarrassed about it. Thanks for cleaning out this web of deceit (Spider Humor). Nice hub.


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 3 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Vacuum Cleaners are a great way to get rid of spiders


SolveMyMaze profile image

SolveMyMaze 3 years ago

Amazing hub. I'm not going to lie, I have a huge phobia of spiders and I skipped past the photos to read the urban legends about them. I had heard about the eight spiders myth when I was younger and it terrified me.

Usually when I encounter one in my house, the vacuum cleaner gets brought out to put the poor thing out of it's misery.


lemonkerdz profile image

lemonkerdz 3 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

This is one to share, after living 8 years close to the jungle in peru i have seen some amazing spiders. Guess we need to have a save the spider campaign or a spider awareness day :-)) nice hub


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 3 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Thanks to everyone for the great comments. They are appreciated very much.


HendrikDB profile image

HendrikDB 3 years ago

A very good hub! But, spiders and snakes are the two most scary creatures!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Great photos and presentation of myths. I have heard of many of these and seen some of these spiders (eek!). Still it woulda been cool to see someone's name (not mine!) written in a spider web.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 3 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

I have a love hate relationship with spiders. When I was a kid, my dad absolutely loved spiders - so much in fact that when he died he wanted to be reincarnated as a spider. Because of this, it used to be very difficult for me to kill any spider! Then I was bit by a brown recluse - and I no longer have a problem killing them!!! You have lots of great information here! Voted up!

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