Thursday, 13 Nov, 2008 Science

A Lot of People Are Scared of Spiders. Why?


About 30 percent of women and 20 percent of men are afraid of spiders. Scientists say that the obvious explanation is that people have obtained a fear of spiders due to the fact that we consider their bite poisonous.

A psychologist who works at the University of Würzburg, Germany, together with his team considers that if the upper stated theory is right then people should also be scared of insects that sting, such as, for example, bees and wasps, reports NewScientist.

In order to discover the truth that lies behind the fear of spiders, Georg Alpers and his colleagues carried out a survey asking 76 students to rate images of spiders, wasps, bees, beetles, butterflies and moths. The participants had to rate the photos on three counts: the level of fear they inspired, how much fear they aroused and the level of disgust. The study showed that students had much greater fear of spiders than other stinging insects. They rated spiders as the most dangerous.

According to Stuart Hine, an entomologist at London's Natural History Museum, being scared of spiders is a learned behavior. He believes that it only takes a person to see someone standing on a chair yelling "Spider!" and the individual will collect that fear.

"It stems back to the days of plagues when people suspected anything that crawled out of the thatch as carrying disease," said Hine.

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45 votes

//44 Aug 11, 2012 12:37 AM | posted by: Rashel
I am absoulutley terrified of spiders. If they get to close I start screaming one time one crawled on my head I started crying. I live in Canada so they're are not any poisonous spiders that I know of. I'm not scared of them biting me I'm just scared of them.
32 votes

//43 Jun 05, 2012 12:10 PM | posted by: grndzro [InfoTOT]
Spiders don't bother me at all......
Black Widows however freak me the hell out.
Like a petrified ghostly white silent scream. I can't begin to describe how badly widows affect me. I'm not even sure I'll be able to sleep tonight after seeing one and failing to kill it.
34 votes

//42 Jun 05, 2012 01:33 AM | posted by: Frank
As a young child, (and a total GIRLY GIRL if you ask me,) I was afraid of spiders. I thought their blackish scuffle was horrifying. I mean, what eight-year-old girl wouldn't be bewildered and scared? Now I'm 10, and the biggest tomboy in junior high, and I love spiders, snakes, rats, mice. (and of course I also dress like a boy, skateboard, video games, and hang with dudes!)
43 votes

//41 May 31, 2012 08:01 AM | posted by: billruller
I am terrified of spiders for many reasons. Just look at them, they look like friggin' monsters! I don't care how small the are, they still frighten me! I sometimes am afraid of their bites, not b/c it's possibly poisonous teeth or something. I just don't want to get bitten. I freak out about the way they move, I mean...BLAH!!! It so creepy, slow or fast. I hate them, yet I would feel bad to kill one. Idk, it's just b/c their not hurting or meaning to bother me. Their scared of human as much as we're scared of them. But still, they are my biggest fear of any creature in the world.
40 votes

//40 May 10, 2012 11:49 AM | posted by: thbthbthbbthb
Hmm.. are they as afraid of us..? :o
"GET IT AWAY GET IT AWAY!", ha.. "eeeeeeeeeeek!"
39 votes

//39 Dec 14, 2011 06:50 PM | posted by: Melyssa
I own a rose hair tarantual, she is beautiful, and very docile, & her bite would be like that of a bees sting. Spiders should not be feared... but, sadly, I am terrifyed of bees, i was stung several times at once while I was a child, but my fear isnt overwhelming...
38 votes

//38 Nov 12, 2011 04:44 PM | posted by: Spiderwillruleoverhumans
I have almost managed to overcome Arachnophobia. The first thing I did was by starting to observe and get closer to smallest spider and then I kill it. This step has given me a power over my emotions and lessened my fear of spiders. Then move to bit bigger in size observe, get closer wait for while then kill it. You can repeat the steps until you comfortable and disabled by your fears. I am still afraid when I see very big and black spider but I am no scared like before I used to. Now I can control my fears. Hope following this step will help you, as did the step for me. When I was 10 or so, I remember when I used to feed spiders flies.
52 votes

//37 Sep 03, 2011 01:41 AM | posted by: Warner
I have no problems with them. They are in a category of their own and that's cool ... lots of eyes and 8 legs, etc. They are smart with their webs. Basically they eat many many bugs. I like them mainly for that reason. I will take 1 spider over all of the pain in the ass bugs they eat over their lifetime. Let them live just be careful.
33 votes

//36 Jul 05, 2011 08:52 PM | posted by: Lewisg
Lol that picture is really bad can't look at it
41 votes

//35 Apr 19, 2011 09:38 PM | posted by: Cookie
I don't kill spiders because I don't like needless taking of life, and also because I live in the U.K. where the worst damage a spider could give me is a slightly itchy bite, but I've been terrified of them for as long as I can remember. I physically can't make myself go near to them (no closer than 3 feet), and if one gets too close I start hyper-ventillating and crying. I don't know why I am so scared of them - no one in my family is, and I've done research into them to try and get over my fear, but it hasn't worked. The only things that even come close to scaring me as much are centipedes and jellyfish.
35 votes

//34 Apr 02, 2011 12:30 PM | posted by: Cocozz
Personally i hate spiders, but i would prefer that all wasps were wiped out if i got a choice between the two. Spiders, wasps, humans and (do dolphins count?) honeybadgers seem to be the only animals that kill things for no reason. Wasps don't stay near the hive and attack intruders, they actively SEEK YOU OUT. I agree with jayto about arthropods being our natural enemies since we were fish. Two spiders i think aren't scary; the penny spider (about one milimetre in diameter) and the strawberries and cream spider (it just looks silly) sadly i can't find a picture of one on the internet, i have one in a book of spiders though (which i got while i still liked them).
34 votes

//33 Mar 26, 2011 03:34 PM | posted by: Laura
I'm ok with pictures of spiders, I'm in the UK so there is no chance I'll ever be bitten by one.
It's when they are in the same room as me, I freak out. So much so, I have 4 cats just so that they can get the spiders for me. But Cats can't get on the ceiling!!
They're too quiet, creepy, fast and uuuggghhh they're just horrid.
I came on here after killing on in my bathroom today, I sprayed it with air freshner, it fell in the bath, then i poured boiling hot water over it, it went down the plug hole and i poured bleach down the plug hole and put the plug back in. Irrational and cruel, maybe, but if Spiders wer more scared of me than I am of them, they wouldn't come into houses where they know there are people who are likely to kill them.
I feel sorry for people abroad, like in Australia. I couldnt live there :(
40 votes

//32 Jan 25, 2011 12:50 AM | posted by: kmlol
While spiders generally creep me out, what gets to me the most is the way that they walk. Jumping spiders are the worst. If they're just hanging out in their web or something though, they don't really bother me. It's just when they walk toward me. I don't mind them being around. Well unless, of course, it's a brown recluse or something like that. Then, even if it's just hanging out, I will freak out a bit. And, it will not be living too much longer. :P
39 votes

//31 Jan 06, 2011 02:07 AM | posted by: Chloe
Every time I look at a spider, argh, I get shivers all up my body and the back of my throat starts to heave. Not a nice image, I know, but I am one of 30% of females scared of spiders. I don't know where my fear stemmed from but from what I remember I've hated them my whole life. That, and heights, is my only fear.
33 votes

//30 Dec 29, 2010 06:07 AM | posted by: tony stark
spiders look creepy
34 votes

//29 Nov 15, 2010 08:54 AM | posted by: sazeel
from when i was small i tried to prove spiders are dangerous no one belived me till they so it on t.v and now most of them kill spiders if i was near a spider i would start to shive and somtimes gain energy i dont know why
34 votes

//28 Oct 28, 2010 01:43 PM | posted by: M4rtyB0y
I heard it was caused by a baby experience. IE, when you were a lying in your cot you may have had a spider crawling over you without being able to do anything about it. The psychological response is then seeded for life.

Might be wrong - can't remember the source but it makes sense to me...
35 votes

//27 Oct 14, 2010 05:52 AM | posted by: zurk
I'm afraid of spiders but mostly because they just move so fast for their size.
33 votes

//26 Oct 08, 2010 11:42 AM | posted by: IhateSpiders
Aghhh! I hate that picture! Spiders are the scariest freaking things in this world!!! I am so afraid and they try to get on me so descretely, but when I tell someone to squish the spider for me, it's gone when they come in! It's like they're so evil!
Why are people so mean to mice and snakes and afraid of them!? Spiders are the real thing to fear!
Well, it seems a bit ridiculous, I mean, there really is no rational reason to fear most spiders.
I don't know what it is, but I hate them and I wish they weren't alive. Can't something else keep the "pests" down for the people who keep defending spiders? Lots of things eat bugs that some people don't like.3
But I say, what's wrong with a little cricket or fly? They aren't scary like nasty spiders. They are heartless eight legged freaks who eat their mates and babies!!!
Once, I saved a baby spider from drowning in the sink.
Boy do I regret that.
They have no compassion on every other bug and spider that's smaller than them. If we were small and caught in a web, do you think they would just let us go???
NO! THEY WOULD EAT US! So stop saving them. LOL. I'm serious. I hate them and they're creepy.
29 votes

//25 Sep 22, 2010 03:20 AM | posted by: Brandie
That picture makes me want to throw up! Ugh!
29 votes

//24 Sep 21, 2010 09:40 AM | posted by: rehan
i hate all kinds of spiders even the spiders that dont bite when i am having my exams and outside the window i see a spider i start to stare at them people laugh at me they think spiders are good. i ahte spiders when the are silently staring at u and somtime jump on u i can rum miles to miles if a spider is sitting on me i wish there were no spiders in this universe but i heard spiders are good for muslims than why did the black widow try to bite me
30 votes

//23 Sep 09, 2010 12:32 PM | posted by: jayto [InfoTOT]
Watch these discovery channel videos.

They discuss a common view on how many of today's animals have evolved from two creatures: arthropods and fish. In the beginning arthropods were the natural predators of the fish. Over millions of years the fish evolved into land dwelling reptiles to escape from the arthropods, and the arthropods evolved into land dwelling spiders to hunt the reptiles.

Long story short, reptile is mankind's ancestor and the arthropod/spider is our natural enemy.

Here's a link to the videos

watch all of them in order!
26 votes

//21 Aug 18, 2010 09:44 AM | posted by: CJ
I hate spiders why do they have to live. Of all animals and bugs to be extinct, spiders have to exist. The main thing is how they dash around at you, or vanish out of nowhere when you get someone to kill it, how they are silent and you hardly ever know when they are around until its to late. or when the get into bed with you and your half asleep in a dark room with the TV going, or the bathroom dropping a deuce and your a sitting duck or if your taking a shower and got water and soap in your eyes and there it is smack dab in your face saying howdy doo now let me bite you. I HATE THOSE DANG SPIDERS CAN'T EVEN LOOK AT IT LET ALONE TOUCH IT. SPIDERS MUST DIE DEATH TO ALL SPIDERS.
32 votes

//20 Aug 11, 2010 07:05 AM | posted by: kelsey
UGH!!!! I hate spiders sooo much! They are so gross looking. Whenever I see one I freak out start shaking! I have to make other people kill them for me because I'm so scared. I just saw one in my room a few minutes ago and ran to my mom. Sometimes I wish spiders were extinct!
30 votes

//19 Jul 14, 2010 08:38 AM | posted by: coolestgamenerd
u all say this but u got to admit the spider in the vampires assisstant was cute
34 votes

//18 Jun 22, 2010 03:34 AM | posted by: Jess
So I couldn't read the article because the picture made me feel so uncomfortable... I scrolled down to the comments right away...
31 votes

//17 May 03, 2010 12:13 AM | posted by: manxnet
I've always been afraid of spiders, not because of their bite, because where i live their are no poisonous spiders. It's just because of the look of them and because they move so fast , i hate black spiders the most. I think i'm petrified of them because when i was 4 or 5 i was sitting in the garden and a massive spider crawled on my leg
35 votes

//16 Mar 30, 2010 05:47 AM | posted by: i am not
i am not scarded of spiders
30 votes

//15 Feb 09, 2010 08:47 PM | posted by: katy
it's prbly b/c spiders look like aliens!
41 votes

//14 Feb 09, 2010 08:11 PM | posted by: Celena
I hate spiders and everything about them scares me too..... I'm pretty sure i'm scared of their appearance and gettin bitten but mostly just cuz the sight of them........
34 votes

//13 Feb 08, 2010 04:54 PM | posted by: owestwood
Spiders to me scare me not just from getting biten, but just of plane sight. Movies definitly made my fear worse.
37 votes

//12 Jan 24, 2010 07:20 PM | posted by: scared
im am soo scared of spiders its not even funy :(
40 votes

//11 Jan 02, 2010 09:48 PM | posted by: tootsie girl
some people are afraid of their deadly bite, or their look, but im afraid of everything about them

peace out homies
38 votes

//10 Dec 24, 2009 08:45 PM | posted by: jess
its not their look or bite that's revolting. I could watch a spider crawl around and be fine, they're actually really fascinating but as soon as it gets close to touching me or makes itself comfortable in the house I freak. It's more being afraid of them crawling all over my skin with their hairy little legs or becoming a midnight snack that's gross.
40 votes

//9 Dec 03, 2009 03:40 PM | posted by: Billy Boy
It's because they move very fast!! Dont' want them my my boxers or in my mouth!
37 votes

//8 Nov 13, 2009 06:38 PM | posted by: Adiana
I am so terrified of spiders. Just looking at that creepy picture of one freaked me out!
Ugh, It's disgusting!
43 votes

//7 Oct 26, 2009 10:42 AM | posted by: camille
I dont agree with this either. I am not afraid of spiders because im afraid their bite is poisonous. I am afraid of them because their just scary looking! And just watching their every action discusts me!
42 votes

//6 Oct 01, 2009 02:20 AM | posted by: Deborah
i don;t agree. I am not afraid of being biten even though I have an alergic reaction when I am ( I hike and live in the woods, so its inevitable). It is the look of them that's scary. Period. And I'm trying to find out why we all react that way
33 votes

//5 Sep 14, 2009 08:02 PM | posted by: Gary'sBigGuns
This article is a a steamy hot load of squishy horse manure! If the fear of a spider is based on being bitten, why is the number one complaint about spider is their LOOK!
34 votes

//3 Feb 27, 2009 01:12 AM | posted by: saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
31 votes

//2 Jan 31, 2009 09:15 AM | posted by: snsuresh [InfoMANIAC]
Probably because of what we gathered from others
31 votes

//1 Nov 21, 2008 12:23 PM | posted by: tanaaz
the pictures are scary.edit make it more scary

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