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10 Myths About Spiders

        Animals | Arachnids

1
Spiders Are Always Nearby (3 Feet Rule)
Yes, spiders inhabit most areas of the world — but one isn't always just a few feet away. Lijuan Guo/Thinkstock
Yes, spiders inhabit most areas of the world — but one isn't always just a few feet away. Lijuan Guo/Thinkstock

Just like the British royals at Windsor Castle, it's said that common folk are nearly surrounded by spiders. It's been often repeated that spiders are always just 3 or 6 feet (1 or 2 meters) away, depending on your Internet source. But it really depends on where you are. If you're having a picnic in the park or hanging out in your back yard, then you're probably surrounded by tiny spiders. If you're in an airplane or at the top of a skyscraper the nearest arachnid may be miles away. Closer to Earth, golf courses and other turf settings are often spider-free because they're so heavily managed by groundskeepers. Many spiders tend to stay in their burrows come winter, especially in northern areas, meaning they are unlikely to swarm if you step outside for a snowball fight. There's certainly not any hard data out there to make this claim common knowledge [sources: Henriksen, Buddle].

What we do know is that most types of spiders are limited to different parts of the world. Brown recluse spiders, for example, can be found from one side of the U.S. to the other, but rarely move above the Mason-Dixon line. Hobospiders, on the other hand, seem to prefer more moderate climes and are commonly found in northern regions of North America [source: Brown Recluse Spider].


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