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Science & Technology

Scientists rule out real-life Spider-Man

January 20, 2016 | Comment icon 10 comments



Could Spider-Man really climb up walls ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Roger Murmann
Climbing up a vertical wall like the popular Marvel superhero would actually require size 114 feet.
Spider-Man might be able to do whatever a spider can in the comics, but when it comes to realism it turns out that the masked web-slinger is ill-equipped to tackle even the simplest of obstacles.

While it is possible to have hands and feet that can stick to walls, to be able to support his own weight on a vertical surface Spidey would need hands measuring 43 inches across.

The revelation is based on the findings of University of Cambridge zoologist David Labonte and animal ecophysiology lecturer Christofer Clemente who cataloged 225 different species of frogs, insects and lizards that have the ability to climb up vertical walls.
"There really are two options if you want to get big and you still want to stick to a wall," said Dr Clemente. "You can either get relatively bigger pads, so the pads that you have need to increase in size relative to your body or the pads you have, have to get stickier."

The researchers are hoping that their findings will aid in the future development of robots capable of climbing up walls - something that could prove invaluable in disaster recovery operations where the ability to scramble up the side of a partially collapsed building could help to save lives.

"We probably want something that's a bit bigger than a gecko but a bit smaller than a human," said Dr Clemente. "And so that's where the sort of practical applications for this sort of research can really lead us down."

Source: Brisbane Times | Comments (10)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by third_eye 7 years ago
What we need here is a redesign of the costume ... ~
Comment icon #2 Posted by Eldorado 7 years ago
Telling a Superhero he's a failure is unwise, Mr Research Scientist!!!
Comment icon #3 Posted by OverSword 7 years ago
Scientist's rule out real life spider man - No kidding.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Talion78 7 years ago
Seeing as Spiderman is made up......who says he hasn't got super strong gripping micro hairs...... Silly Mr scientist
Comment icon #5 Posted by Kiltedmusician 7 years ago
Yeah, you'd need those giant webbed feet like spiders and cockroaches ha... Wait...
Comment icon #6 Posted by Nnicolette 7 years ago
Lol ^ this scientist is incredibly slow on his worthwhile research and still wrong... You know who is probably a bigger failure? Whoever paid him for that crap. What do you mean his spandex isnt grippy enough? next you are going to tell us he cant really shoot web and swing from it. Great research.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Ryu 7 years ago
So now we need a scientist to tell us that fantasy isn't real or even remotely possible? I stupidly thought we learned this as young kids that superheroes, fairies, dragons, pokemon, etc are all made-up stuff.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Redxx 7 years ago
So now we need a scientist to tell us that fantasy isn't real or even remotely possible? I stupidly thought we learned this as young kids that superheroes, fairies, dragons, pokemon, etc are all made-up stuff. What are you getting snarky about? It's a perfectly valid study. People have wondered for ages what makes spiders, geckos and other animals able to climb walls and if it would be possible to somehow give humans the ability.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Talion78 7 years ago
What are you getting snarky about? It's a perfectly valid study. People have wondered for ages what makes spiders, geckos and other animals able to climb walls and if it would be possible to somehow give humans the ability. it's been known for a long time how they do it.......if we were going to apply it to humans we would genetically alter the microhairs or suckers to be able to hold our weight without the need for big hands or feet....
Comment icon #10 Posted by Redxx 7 years ago
it's been known for a long time how they do it Yes, but now we know more about the physics behind it and have confirmation on whether or not they would allow us to do it.


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