Submitted by Don Doman.
It’s a fact: Americans swallow eight spiders each year. They enter your mouth while you sleep. Last week there was a dead spider in the water glass I keep by my bed.
When some of my friends send me outrageous claims about almost anything, I search on Snopes for the truth. I forget where I saw the statistics on this spider claim. My worrying about spiders saved me from drinking a dead spider, however . . . but still . . . I did a Snopes search: snopes.com/fact-check/spiders-inside-her/
It’s not true! Well, the dead spider in my glass was true, but the rest was false. “So how did this claim arise? In a 1993 PC Professional article, columnist Lisa Holst wrote about the ubiquitous lists of ‘facts’ that were circulating via e-mail and how readily they were accepted as truthful by gullible recipients. To demonstrate her point, Holst offered her own made-up list of equally ridiculous ‘facts,’ among which was the statistic cited above about the average person’s swallowing eight spiders per year, which she took from a collection of common misbeliefs printed in a 1954 book on insect folklore. In a delicious irony, Holst’s propagation of this false ‘fact’ has spurred it into becoming one of the most widely-circulated bits of misinformation to be found on the Internet.”
The next time someone sends you an email or a Facebook post that sounds too good to be true, or so weird, please run it through a fact check. You will most likely find out that Obama is a U.S. citizen, Trump is not a horned demi-god, and the letter telling you about a long lost relative with a bank account that must be disposed of if you will just pay the existing charges is just someone trying to scam you out of your money.
Mostly spiders are our friends and we don’t swallow them, but still . . . I almost did.