MYTH: The average person swallows 8 spiders every year

I actually fell for this one for a while and was kind of disappointed if not a little bit embarrassed when I found out the truth. Well the truth is that the statistic was a complete fabrication that was introduced in an article by Lisa Holst in PC Professional (January 1993) to prove that people will believe anything they read on the internet. She came up with the “fact” from a book printed in 1954 called Insect Fact and Folklore by Lucy Clausen and from there it spread exactly how she had intended it to. To this day is remains one of the most widely circulated pieces of misinformation on the internet.

Now here’s a twist, I came across this person’s blog and apparently the information about the Article above just might be a fabrication by Snopes (which is where I learned of this myth being false). The guy in this blog could find no record of a writer named Lisa Holst or the magazine PC Professional. Even the library of congress couldn’t find such a magazine. This article may not have checked out but the 1954 book does and while Lisa Holst may not have actually started the rumor, it’s just a rumor nonetheless, and not an actual statistic with any merit. So you can sleep a little more soundly, unless you enjoyed the thought of eating spiders.


5 Responses to “MYTH: The average person swallows 8 spiders every year”

  1. Thanks for the link to my blog.

    You are quite right, there is no evidence for the eight spiders myth and it certainly appears in the Clausen book but it would appear that Lisa Holst has now become an internet myth of her very own.

  2. What about the insect legs in chocolate one? any truth to that?

  3. For starters, I don’t believe this myth but while trying to convince a friend, it complicates things when none of sources check out! I’ve always accepted what I read on snopes but no more. The default position on the spider swallow is still disbelief but it looks fishy (esp. to a believer) that snopes has made up sources, and with no evidence here, the gullible now add a conspiracy element to this myth.

  4. kaptnkarl Says:

    So… we have a myth about a myth about peoples’ wilingness to believe total bullshit without question. Interesting. This is probably the first time I’ve heard about a myth surrounding a truth that is as obvious as that.

  5. baby women kids…

    […]MYTH: The average person swallows 8 spiders every year « Everything You Know Is Wrong[…]…

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