The fear of spiders commonly known as Arachnophobia is one of the highly rated phobias that many people face today. Apparently it is the oldest phobia and according to a recent research, scientists have indicated that it is in our DNA. In addition, it can be traced way back to hundreds of thousands of years probably during the early evolutionary phases of humans in Africa.
According to the leader of this study, Joshua New, spiders were considered imminent threat. They were potent, vertebrate-specific venoms that populated Africa way before the existence of hominoids. Since then, they have largely co – existed for over 10 million years.
Humans were always at risk of encountering highly venomous spiders which were very unpredictable. It was a survival measure for a human being to know where the spiders were plus how to protect themselves. This put everyone an edge of being cautious through the centuries a culture that has continued to be nurtured to date.
The recent study by New indicates that many more people are able to recognize spiders quicker compared to other dangers. This is because a spider bite from a black widow during prehistoric times could easily incapacitate a person for days or weeks and to the very extreme it could highly become fatal.
Other theories that have been associated with humans’ irrational fear of spiders are said to be its dark hairy coat which feels very awkward, hairy legs and the unpredictable movements. It can be very disturbing.
That said, the DNA theory is not in agreement with everyone because there are those who believe that people are afraid of spiders because of social conditioning. One more belief is the fear is triggered as a result of the way the spiders look i.e. the dark color on them makes people develop goose pimples.
There are more than 37,000 species of spiders according to National Geographic and one spider eats about 2,000 insects a year and do not limit themselves. However, they are also food sources for snakes, lizards, birds and scorpions.