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How big would a spider have to be before it was unable to stick to the wall? © Getty Images

How big would a spider have to be before it is unable to stick to the wall?

Want to be the next Spider-man? We’ve got bad news.

Some spiders can stick to walls because their feet are covered in tiny, flexible hairs that create an attractive force with a dry surface. In theory, there could be spiders as large as cats scaling walls, but they would need to have really enormous, broad feet.


This seems unlikely, as evolution has never produced a body plan like this. Plus, there are other constraints that limit a spider’s body size, such as its inefficient respiratory system.

Asked by: Pad Scalon

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Helen Pilcher
Helen PilcherScience writer, presenter and performer.

Helen Pilcher is a tea-drinking, biscuit-nibbling science and comedy writer, with a PhD in cell biology.


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