Study: Spiders could 'theoretically' eat all humans on Earth in one year

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(CBS NEWS) - A new study found that the world's total spider population could eat all the humans in just one year, theoretically.

A study published last year in The Science of Nature said spiders kill about 400-800 million tons of prey annually. The estimated mass of all adult humans on Earth is about 287 million tons, CBS affiliate WTSP reports.

Even if you add the total estimated weight of the world's children, 70 million tons, it still wouldn't equal the total eaten by spiders every year, the Washington Post reported.

The authors of the study found the numbers based on existing data, along with an estimation of how many spiders lived in a square meter of land.

According to the research, areas like harsh deserts and arctic tundras have the least amount of spiders. Areas with "favorable" conditions could contain 1,000 of spiders per square meter.

All spiders on Earth weigh 25 million tons. According to WTSP, that's about 478 Titanics.

Fortunately, spiders can be our "friends." The creatures mostly eat insects, such as mosquitoes and flies; and they keep the number of pests down.

So, thank your local spider for ridding us of mosquitoes and for "choosing not to eradicate the human race."

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