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Spider Myths

Do you swallow live spiders in your sleep? There's no evidence of it — no specimens, no eyewitness accounts, nothing!

diagram of lungs

The recent idea that spiders "hold their breaths" to escape pesticide is not supported by research. The lung slits can't close completely.

Map of Sadiya

A worldwide 2012 news report claimed "swarms" of deadly spiders suddenly invaded an Indian village. The scare started with 2 snake bites.

European Cave Spider, Meta menardi

A 2001 media blitz about hordes of giant, rare, venomous spiders under Windsor Castle (England) derived from a common, harmless cave spider.


A 1999 internet hoax claimed a deadly exotic spider lurks under toilet seats in planes and around airports; everything in the story is fake.

Cartoon by Owen Curtsinger showing mythical cactus exploding with baby tarantulas

Urban legend alleging that hatching tarantula eggs made a potted cactus plant explode, has no basis in fact or tarantula biology.


Tall tales alleging that "camel spiders" (which aren't spiders) have super-powers and do horrible things to men and camels are all phoney.


The well-known structure and behavior of solpugids (sometimes called "camel spiders") makes their alleged human-flesh consumption absurd.


"Daddy-longlegs" (meaningless term for any long-legged arthropod) do not have super-powerful venom, but no (or very weak) venom.


House spiders pose no significant danger to you, your children or your pets. Especially compared to your fellow humans!

Giant house spider

No, those big, hairy, fast-moving spiders you see indoors are not wolf spiders (well, hardly ever). Most likely male house spiders.

Diagram of spiders and drains

Spiders in sinks and bathtubs come down the walls, attracted by water. They cannot come up through the drains!


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