From making parachutes to building scuba tanks, the arachnids have come up with some fascinating creations
Spider silk is a wonder material that, weight for weight, is stronger than steel, tougher than Kevlar and can be more elastic than rubber. It’s also flexible and antimicrobial. Scientists have used silk to make bulletproof armor, violin strings, medical bandages, optical fiber cables and even extravagant clothing.
“I don’t think people would believe you if you told them, there’s this creature that, if you scaled it up … to the size of the human, it could catch an aeroplane with the material that it makes itself out of itself,” says Fritz Vollrath, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Oxford.