Why do spiders typically elicit more fear in people than most insects do?



Why do spiders typically elicit more fear in people than most insects do?

In: Biology

First, let’s just get it out of the way: spiders aren’t insects, they’re arachnids.

Ok, now…

Spiders can be quite dangerous. Certainly moreso than most harmless bugs and other arachnids, but even those that also sting and bite, spiders are more likely to kill a person than a wasp sting, or an earwig pinch. (yes scorpions can also be deadly, but they’re less prevalent across the globe).

So most people believe the common nature of arachnophobia is a result of human evolution, and a survival technique of the species to fear something that could so easily kill us. Those early humans who happened to have a fear of spiders were more likely to live and pass on their DNA, increasing the chances that future generations would also share in their fear.

Because they are sharp, pointy, fast, tactical NOPE creatures. Others are round, soft, slow, doppy AWW creatures.

Poison. Although very few arachnids are deadly, they all get tainted by the poisonous label.

Personally I know that some spiders can possibly kill me, I do not know which ones so I think all of them can. I’m pretty sure everyone feels like that. Plus they’re ugly

There are a few psychological things going on in our perception of spiders that make them that way. First, the fact that some are known to be poisonous. Second, some of them are known to be able to jump. Third, they can land on you by stringing themselves down from the ceiling or a branch and then get all up in you. Fourth, they create webs and kill/eat the things that get caught in the webs. This behavior is menacing and smart and tickles that funny bone in our psyche that gives us the feeling that these spiders are somehow more dangerous than they really are. Finally, they have eight legs instead of six and those last two legs create a visual profile that makes them seem like they can really fuck you up, especially considering the way in which their unique appearance is associated with all of the above factors.

Human evolution has lead us to fear common venomous creatures, mostly snakes and spiders. These creatures are also frequently in the news or in nature documentaries; So knowledge of how dangerous they are is widely known.

No one in my immediate family is afraid of snakes or spiders, at least they don’t have phobias. However, my wife and her parents are deathly afraid of snakes. It may be worth noting that my family is European and my wife is Eastern Asian. There are many more venomous snakes around Asia than Europe.