Do Spiders Know When You’re Looking At Them?

Spiders are some of the most feared creatures on the planet. They’re silent, they’re quick, and they seem to be able to appear out of nowhere. Spiders generally have eight eyes, but depending on the species, some have fewer.

Some spiders have exceptional eyesight and some have very poor eyesight. When you look at them, they may be able to see you, but they don’t necessarily know that you’re looking at them.

Spiders and Their Multiple Eyes

Spiders have eight eyes, but they’re not all the same. All are used for vision but each functions differently. The two front eyes are much bigger than the others, and they’re the ones that spiders use to see their prey.

The other six eyes are smaller and they’re called secondary eyes. These eyes don’t have lenses like our eyes do, but they’re very sensitive to light and movement.

So, when we look at a spider, the light from our eyes reflects off the spider’s secondary eyes and onto its primary eyes.

close up of spider face

Most spiders can’t see very well so they just depend on their other senses to find prey and avoid predators. But some spiders, like the jumping spider, have excellent vision. Only a few species have the capacity to see well enough to hunt prey effectively.

Even so, their eyesight is generally quite poor. They make up for this deficiency by using other senses to detect their surroundings.

The Spider Sense and How They See Things: Science Explained

The scientific community has long been interested in the question of whether spiders can sense when they’re being watched. The most widely accepted theory is that they rely on something called the “spider-sense.”

Spiders can feel vibrations in the ground or air that tell them when an object – or person – is nearby. They also have sensitive hairs on their body that can detect movement.

While spiders may not be able to see you looking at them, they can definitely sense your presence.

Having several different types of senses helps them navigate their environment and find prey. One of these is called proprioception, which is the ability to sense the position and movement of your body in space.

This allows spiders to know when they’re being touched or moved, even if they can’t see it.

spider lying on the ground

Using vibration sensors, pressure sensors, and temperature sensors, proprioception in spiders enables them to sense their surroundings.

These sensory organs are located in different parts of the spider’s body, such as the legs, abdomen, and pedipalps.

Some spiders also have specialized hairs on their bodies that can detect air movement and sound waves. They help spiders detect prey, predators, and changes in their environment.

Proprioception is thought to be mediated by specialized cells called proprioceptors, which are found in all animals with nervous systems.

In spiders, these cells are located in the leg joints and muscles. When a spider’s leg is moved, the proprioceptors send signals to the spider’s brain telling it what is happening.

It is an important sense for spiders because it allows them to feel their position in space. This is how they know whether they are upside down or right side up.

They also use this sense to detect changes in their environment, like the vibration of a web being touched.

Why Do Spiders Stay Still When You See Them?

Spiders do have ways of sensing when someone is looking at them, and they can even tell when you are looking away.

The spider-sense is based on the ability to detect changes in air pressure and vibrations. By picking up on these subtle cues, spiders can tell when someone or something is nearby. So, the next time you see a spider sitting motionless in the corner of a room, it’s probably because it knows you’re watching it.

spider on a small ledge

Spiders tend to be most active at night, so if you see one during the day, it might be because it sensed you coming and decided to stay still in order to avoid being seen.

When spiders see something move, they tend to freeze but there are many other reasons why spiders might stay still when you see them. They could be waiting for prey, resting after a meal, or simply taking a break.

Analyzing If You’re a Threat

They might be staying still because they are trying to analyze the threat you pose. If they feel like they are in danger, they will usually try to run away or hide. However, if they don’t think you are a threat, they might just stay where they are and watch you.

Waiting for Prey

Some spiders remain still while they are waiting for prey, relying on their camouflage to keep them hidden. Moving around would only make them more visible, so they stay perfectly still until an unsuspecting victim comes along and avoid detection by predators at the same time.

Save Energy

They are also conserving their energy and move only when necessary because it would take up their energy and would need to eat more.

Food for spiders is not always available and they need to be able to survive for long periods of time without eating. They have a random eating schedule because they never know when their next meal is going to be.

Read More: Why Do House Spiders Run at You ?

Final Thoughts

Spiders can’t see very well, so they can’t tell if you’re staring at them. Some spiders, on the other hand, have excellent eyesight and may be able to spot you.

Spiders are generally more afraid of you than you are of them and they will usually try to run away or stay still if they think you’re going to hurt them.

In most situations, spiders are only assessing you and the circumstances around them, which will have an impact on their behavior.

They want to make sure they survive and don’t get caught in a tight or unpleasant scenario. Spiders stay still because of several factors and being aware of their surroundings is one of them.

They rely on their spider senses to detect changes and possible threats, which is why they are often found near the center of their webs.

If they sense that you are looking at them, they may think you are a predator and will be more likely to stay still and hope you go away.