(Mirror Daily, United States) – Many of us have grown up with Spiderman. Whether he appeared in his comic book, cartoon, or movie iterations, one thing was always there regarding the wall-crawler – his ability to crawl on walls. According to scientists, to wall-crawl Spiderman would have to be the size of a gecko.
Looking into the physics behind Spiderman’s wall crawling ability in order to adapt it to more mundane uses, a team of scientists discovered that the wall crawler might have been spinning a web of lies all this time – at least from a physical point of view.
As it turns out, for J. Jonah Jameson’s favorite front page topic to actually be able to climb walls like he does, the sticky pads on his hands and feet should cover at least 40% of his body.
If he were to keep the sticky pads on his hands and feet, he would need to be at least a size 114 – 145 for our European readers – in order for his feet to allow him to stick to the walls, and his hands would have to be similarly proportioned.
According to researchers behind the study, as an animal gets bigger and heavier, they require a larger and larger surface of their bodies to be covered with sticky pads in order to be able to be able to stick to walls or ceilings.
Precisely because of this reason, larger animals employ the help of tails, claws, and toes in order to get a firmer grip while climbing.
Analyzing a large part of the animals able to walk up walls vertically or upside down, the team of researchers determined that the largest animal able to make use of Spiderman-like sticky pads in order to walk on surfaces would be a gecko.
For other, larger animals other sorts of techniques need to be employed because they simply don’t have enough body surfaces available to support sticky pads.
However, the team is not satisfied with just disproving everyone’s favorite wall crawler.
They will continue to look into the abilities of other animals capable of scaling smooth surfaces in order to figure out a way to more practically and accurately devise a way for humans to be able to do the same thing.
Image source: DeviantArt
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