No, spiders cannot understand humans speech or activities. They do, however, sense danger when they see humans near them. So while they might not be listening to you, they will certainly identify you as a threat.
We generally think spiders only think in terms of ‘fight’ or ‘flight’. However, there is one recorded instance where scientists did train a spider to jump on command.
Spiders are very afraid of humans because we are much larger and more dangerous than they are. So, they will likely flee from a human.
Pet spiders also cannot understand their owners. Common pet spiders like tarantulas may try to communicate in simple ways, like rearing their legs to indicate aggression, which in reality is more an effort to defend themselves and scare you off than an attempt to understand and engage in communication with you.
Do Spiders Understand Humans?
1. Do spiders have the ability to understand human language?
No, spiders definitely cannot understand the human language. In fact, spiders do not have ears at all. They can only sense vibrations.
Spiders will be able to feel the vibration of a human walking into their room and they are likely going to run away from it as fast as possible because humans tend not to have good intentions for them (most people find spiders to be scary and want to kill them!).
However, there is no way that these tiny animals would understand what we are talking about. And even if they did, they don’t have the memory capacity for it to matter. Their brains are not developed enough to understand the human language.
Given that even the most advanced animals like Dolphins and Gorillas struggle to understand humans, spiders would have absolutely no ability to understand human speech.
2. How do spiders sense things?
The spider’s sensory system is very different from ours. They have a sense of touch, taste, and smell to help them identify predators in their environment (including humans).
The spider’s senses are not as sophisticated and sensitive to human presence in the room. Spiders have a sense of touch, but it is much less developed than what humans use when they feel something with their hands or feet; spiders can only detect vibrations on surfaces that might indicate an insect has landed there for example – this would be useful if the spider wanted to catch prey or, conversely, flee from animals it sees as a threat.
The spider’s sensory system is not as developed when it comes down to the visual aspect though – they can’t see well at all! But spiders do use vibrations that are created by prey or potential predator to feel when they are under threat.
3. Can spiders see colors and shapes of objects around them?
Spiders may have a lot of eyes, but their vision is not as good as you might expect. While spiders have some vision, they can’t see well. They are more sensitive to light than humans and have a wider field of view – but their eyesight is not very good at all!
It’s possible that spiders may be able to make out shapes or colors if the object has enough contrast with its surroundings (such as someone wearing dark clothes in front of a light background). But, they are not able to see the details of what’s happening.
4. Can spiders hear humans talking, vacuuming, or running water?
Spiders cannot hear, but they can feel vibrations. So, it is highly likely that they will be able to feel when you are vacuuming your floors. They will likely identify this as a threat and try to run away from the source of the vibrations.
In fact, according to the Guardian, spiders can ‘feel’ human voices through the hairs on their legs which are very sensitive to vibrations. The scientists found that spiders were most sensitive to low-frequency noises. When the hairs on the legs of the spiders were wet by the scientists, the water ‘muted’ the sounds because it prevented the hairs from ‘feeling’ the sounds.
So, it turns out that even though spiders can’t understand what you’re saying, their senses are sensitive enough to know you’re nearby, which they will use as a signal to flee.
5. Can Pet Spiders become Friendly with their Owners?
Different spiders have different levels of aggression. Some spiders are very passive, meaning you might be able to handle them. Other spiders are very aggressive, which makes them very dangerous to handle. Many people think that the least aggressive spider is the tarantula, which is why they make good pets. Nevertheless, they’re still wild animals and can be dangerous!
The most aggressive spider would be a black widow because it will bite you if provoked and can cause serious harm to humans with its venomous bites!
Some spiders are more likely than others to have become ‘friendly’ or less afraid of human interaction after living in captivity for many years. It makes sense that a spider will become desensitized to humans if it is around humans all the time, rather than other spiders. However, it’s important to note that spiders are overall not very intelligent at all. I have only identified one instance when a spider was ever trained to do something. Scientists from the University of Manchester trained a Spider named Kim in 2018 to jump on command.
Nevertheless, this is a far cry from the idea that spiders can actually communicate or show complex understanding of humans or their owners in any way at all.
In conclusion, spiders cannot understand humans and seem to have pretty poor memory. They are not intelligent enough to do so and they can’t communicate with humans in any complex way at all, even if you train them or have a pet spider, like a tarantula, that lives around people for many years.
The most you’ll get in terms of communication and understanding from a spider is ‘flight or fight’. Like all animals, spiders are hard-wired to identify something as a threat or potential prey. They are, after all, just another animal in the animal kingdom with both predators and prey.
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