A Staff Report from the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

Why don't spiders get stuck to their own webs?

September 13, 2001

Dear Straight Dope:

Here's just one of the legion of questions my 4 year old son asks me that I can't answer: How come spiders don't get stuck on their own webs? My answer was: because they have special stuff on their legs, but I really have no idea!

Actually, spiders could get stuck in their own webs--they're just more careful than that. You see, some of the strands are sticky, and others are not. The spiders only climb on the NON-sticky strands. Even if they accidentally set foot on a sticky strand, as long as it's not their whole body or multiple legs, they can still pull their foot free fairly easily. It's not THAT sticky.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Staff Reports are written by the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board, Cecil's online auxiliary. Though the SDSAB does its best, these columns are edited by Ed Zotti, not Cecil, so accuracywise you'd better keep your fingers crossed.

Recent Additions:

A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff Mac, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff Dogster, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff Ian, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff Ian, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
A Straight Dope Classic by Cecil Adams
A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff Ian, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
A Straight Dope Staff Report by SDStaff Melis, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope! Your direct line to thou- sands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope? Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.