Spiders do have a spider-sense to some extent, as they can recognize danger and other animals around them using the hairs on their legs and their webs.
Perhaps you’ve watched the movie Spider-Man in which the main protagonist, Peter Parker gets bitten by a special venomous spider and then gains supernatural spider-like abilities – he can climb walls, has extraordinary amounts of strength, and also the so-called spider-sense – the ability to recognize danger around him.
The truth is that in real life, spiders do possess a feature that is close to the spider sense we can see in the movie. Spiders use small hairs on their legs called trichobothria, which they will use to detect movements around them. They also use webs to spot their prey and locate other animals around them.
Is Spider-Sense Real in Spiders?
Spiders don’t have the same psychic abilities as Spider-Man has, as he’s able to detect enemies and danger around him with an inner sense that seems too good to be true.
And it is too good to be true because real spiders don’t have this secret sense as we can see in the movie.
However, they do have a similar skill, they just use other features of their body to detect animals or threats around them.
Spiders use the hairs on their legs to detect movements around them, especially the movements in the air. These hairs are called trichobothria. The hairs are responsive to movements in the air around the spider so that once an animal flies by, they get triggered and they send the signal to the spider’s brain that an animal is flying by.
These hairs are also very sensitive, as they’re able to pick up the slightest of movements that are happening close to them. Spiders get a good idea about the presence of other animals around them, especially flying predators and insects.
And thanks to the high sensitivity of these hairs, spiders can tell from which direction the animal is moving and its size, giving the spider a slight advantage over the approaching animal without having to use its eyes.
Spiders use their Webs to Magnify their Senses
In addition to using the hairs on their legs, spiders are also capable of detecting movements around them by using their webs.
Spiders create webs to catch insects and animals of prey that get caught inside these webs. They’re also highly effective for detecting dangerous animals and warning the spider about the potential threat they’re facing.
The webs that spiders create are usually connected directly to the spider’s body. So once an animal hits the web or gets stuck inside the web, the spider will know about it very quickly. The web movement will trigger the spider’s senses, and it will act as an alarm that something is happening close to the spider.
With webs, spiders can extend their sensory field by a great distance. The larger the web, the more space the spider will cover, and the wider its range will be for detecting movement around them.
Can Spiders Sense Humans?
Yes, spiders can sense humans by using their hairs, as they will detect the vibrations that humans are making when they approach the spider.
As we’ve already mentioned, spiders are adept at detecting movements around them, especially the movements that are creating vibrations. And we humans create quite a lot of vibrations when we pass by a spider or approach it, giving the spider ample time to back away and find a space to hide from us.
Spiders will generally stay away from humans because they perceive them as a natural threat. We’re much larger than spiders, which means we’re intimidating to them, so spiders will naturally avoid our presence if they detect it.
Spiders are also able to detect humans by using their eyesight, although their sight is not very well developed. They have slightly blurry vision and don’t normally rely on their eyesight to detect animals around them. Most of their detection will be done using the hairs on their bodies.
Do Spiders Have Other Qualities of Spider-Man?
What you can see in the movie Spider-Man is unlikely to be present in the vast majority of spiders. While they do have a sort of spider-sense that allows them to detect animals around them, they won’t be able to jump as high as Spider-Man, create webs and shoot out silk, or have the same levels of strength as Spider-Man.
You should know that the strengths that Spidey has in the movie are exaggerated, and they’re not present in the real world.
Spider-Man has incredible strength and jumping ability, being able to jump for several meters before stopping. It is true, though, that spiders can jump several times their size thanks to their hydraulic legs. This is especially true for jumping spiders, who are able to jump several meters high.
You’ll also see Spider-Man climbing up rough surfaces, which is what spiders can do in the real world as well, just not as smoothly as Spider-Man can. Spider-Man can also shoot strands of web from his hands, which, of course, real spiders cannot do.
They can, however, create sticky webs that will get other animals caught inside the web, so the notion of web creation in Spider-Man is partially true.
The majority of Spider-Man’s abilities, however, are greatly exaggerated in the movie, which is to be expected.
Spiders don’t have the same capacity to sense threats around them and use the so-called spider-sense, which you’ll see in the movie Spider-Man.
They do, however, possess an ability that is similar to the spider-sense. Instead, they’re able to spot other animals using the hairs on their legs, which will vibrate as another animal flies by.