An Experiment in Italy Yielded Spider Webs That Are Stronger than Kevlar

/ 2 years ago

A spider's net is pictured on October 19, 2014 in Wuerzburg, Germany.   AFP PHOTO / DPA / KARL-JOSEF HILDENBRAND /GERMANY OUT        (Photo credit should read KARL-JOSEF HILDENBRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

When you see a title like this you automatically think about a new Spider-Man movie, right? Well, it looks like a team of scientists at the University of Trento in Trento, Italy managed to create spider webs that are actually stronger than Kevlar. Even though it might sound like science-fiction, the discovery is definitely science-fact, and it was achieved with the help of 15 Pholcidae spiders, also known as cellar spiders.

The spiders were sprayed with water that contained carbon nanotubes and graphene flakes, and while the scientists don’t know for sure how these elements managed to make their way into the silk itself, they suspect that the critters might have ingested the water. This theory is not yet proven at the time of writing. So what’s the big deal about obtaining super-strong spider silk? Well, it could lead to some interesting discoveries about spiders, not to mention the practical applications of the silk in medicine or even public safety. Spiders are already famous for their ability to create some of the world’s strongest fibres, but the ones that we’re talking about are actually the strongest fibres known so far.

What do you think about this daring experiment?

Thank you CNET for providing us with this information.

  • RacistPenguin

    “the scientists don’t know for sure how these elements managed to make their way into the silk itself”
    So they were all like “let’s spray some mother effin’ spiders with some mother effin’ carbon nanotubes and see what happens”, huh?

    • Nikos Papakonstantinou

      aaaand that’s more or less how at least half of the sci-fi thrillers I can think of begin…