Midnight In The Desert — spider web

Millions of Spiders Coat an Australian Town With Silk

Posted by K R on

Millions of Spiders Coat an Australian Town With Silk

Record rains have fueled major floods around Launceston, the second-largest city in the Australian state of Tasmania—but forecasters probably weren’t expecting spiders to rain down as well. In fact, trees in flooded areas outside of Launceston are now teeming with small black spiders, local news outlets report, which have coated the foliage with enormous blankets of silk. Local resident Ken Puccetti, who photographed the webs, told Guardian Australia that “the plague” covered an area about half a mile (800 meters) long. The silk was so dense, says Puccetti, that his attempts to photograph it ended with his shoes, legs, and...

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Spider Silk Inspires Creation of ‘Liquid Wire’

Posted by K R on

Spider Silk Inspires Creation of ‘Liquid Wire’

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown property of spider silk, and used it to create a remarkable new “hybrid” material. The new bio-inspired thread, which acts like both a solid and a liquid, could lead to a host of new materials and technologies. Spider silk is one of the most extraordinary materials found in nature, featuring tensile strengths comparable to steel, and elasticity commensurate with rubber (at least on a weight-to-weight basis). Together, these two properties make it two to three times tougher that some of the strongest synthetic materials, including Kevlar and nylon. What’s more, spider silk is sticky...

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