The scientists described their estimate of 35,176 spiders/m³ as “markedly conservative” and “representing a minimum volume” of spiders, by the way.
Question: do you measure spiders in Metric ShitTons? Or in Imperial ShitLoads?
Either way, it’s an awful lot of spiders.
It is, actually, difficult to admit just how it is that spiders affect so many of us so irrationally. And it offers no useful comfort to point to the next person and note that they’re even worse about it. Then again, four acres of orb spinners just waiting for some unfortunate organism to blunder into their trap, amounting to a population estimated somewhere above one hundred seven million spiders, and a “markedly conservative” estimate of maximum population density at 35,176 spiders/m³.
The 2010 technical paper is available, for those so inclined, either through Pearson’s blog for Wired.com, or in our own archives.
Pearson, Gwen. “4-Acre Spider Web Engulfs Building”. Charismatic Minifauna. 31 October 2014.
Greene, Albert et al. “An Immense Concentration of Orb-Weaving Spiders With Communal Webbing in a Man-Made Structural Habitat (Arachnida: Araneae: Tetragnathidae, Araneidae)”. American Entomologist, 56 (3). 2010.