There is an idea that it can happen that we swallow spiders when we sleep. But that is not common, nor would it be serious
There is an urban legend that says that in a year a person, when sleeping, involuntarily swallows eight spiders. That sounds like a lot of spiders and also a bit untrue, because it is.
I don’t know Rick
Of course this myth goes straight to everyone’s nightmares. arachnophobicWell, of all: the idea of swallowing spiders from one month to another doesn’t sound like something to have sweet dreams.
It seems that the rumor started by email in 1993: long before the chains of WhatsApp and retweets, false information was spread by forwarding email messages.
And boy did that e-mail from the spiders have resonance: 30 years later, the idea is still in the popular imagination.
We will not discuss here why someone decided that eight spiders it was a good number to swallow for a year, but it is doubtless possible that he knew very little about spider manners. Or of people sleeping.
Spun its web
Spiders, along with insects – such as flies and mosquitoes – are part of the arthropod group, although they are not insects themselves, they are arachnids: because they have exoskeletons and jointed legs.
They have been identified around 80,000 species of spidersAlthough it is thought that there could be 150,000: they all have in common that they produce silk: a fiber made up of proteins, which some spiders use to weave webs.
That divides the spiders between weavers and hunters: the former make the web so that the prey fall, thus they catch them and finally eat them; the latter go in search of their prey.
Virtually all species of spiders produce toxic substances that they inject into their prey to paralyze them: what we call a poison.
Wouldn’t it then be possible for a spider to go out at night to hunt one of its prey and end up in our mouth and we swallow it?
No spiders enter a closed mouth
Even in urban environments we live with spiders all the time: if we walk through the park, we may have fallen one from a tree, or we have found a tenant at home, when moving a piece of furniture.
But that does not mean that it is so easy for them to approach us, in general spiders are shy: even violinists, one of the species of spiders with the most toxic poisons, in general are characterized by living in hiding and that is why they are also called corner or recluse spiders.
And definitely human beings are not among their prey of choiceThat is why their bites (yes, spiders don’t bite, they bite) are very rare and rather occur in cases where they feel threatened.
In general, spiders flee from us, and although it might seem that in our sleep we are less threatening, we are not: much of the spiders perception it depends on vibrations so our deep breathing or snoring must be quite frightening to them.
Could it be the enormous chance that a totally clueless spider walked over us while we slept and entered our mouth if we had it open? Could be.
But it is a very unlikely event and in the end, the one that would suffer the most would be the spider, especially if it ventured into our digestive tract, from where it could not escape alive.
So go to sleep soundly today – no spiders will be swallowed.