Do you hate spiders? Their legs, their eyes, and oh man, their webs. Well, it turns out that they don’t like you much either. Imagine that you’ve stumbled into the …
Do you hate spiders?
"Oh, little babies coming out of it!"
"Ahhh!"
"Ahh, look at them."
Their legs,
their eyes,
and, oh man,
their webs.
Well, it turns out that
they don’t like you much either.
Imagine that you’ve stumbled
into the belly of the beast,
and now you're trapped in the sticky,
horrifying webs
of a giant spider.
It looks like you’ve gotten yourself
into a sticky situation.
Spiders' webs are not something to take lightly.
Especially if you’re caught in one.
Each strand of spider silk
is 1,000 times thinner
than a strand of human hair.
And each strand of silk
is made up of thousands of nano-strands
which are 10-20 millionths
of a millimeter in diameter (0.004-0.008 in).
And they're very,
very strong.
I know what you’re thinking.
“1,000 times thinner than hair?"
"Please …"
(Laughter)
Well, laugh it up now
because if we extrapolate this information
to a human-sized spider,
a big enough web could snag a jetliner.
Talk about ordering delivery.
Spiders use their silk for making webs,
protecting their offspring,
as a way to escape predators,
and above all,
for catching and wrapping up their prey.
Orb webs contain
several different kinds of silk,
and make webs that are strong and rigid.
The silk is produced in different glands,
and has different characteristics,
depending on what the spider needs.
For example,
if the spider wants some building material,
it will use its major ampullate gland.
For capturing food,
it would use its flagelliform silk gland
to build the trap.
The spider then covers it with a sticky,
glue-like coating.
The glue is both viscous and elastic,
and very, very hard
for food to escape from.
And I’m sorry to say that in this case,
the food is you.
So let’s break this down on a scale of
“eww, a spider web”
to
“Oh no, I’m going to be spider food.”
Let’s say you only got an arm
stuck in a massive web.
Well in this case,
you're very likely to escape.
This is because
you can just cut your arm loose.
If both of your arms get stuck,
we hope you’re flexible enough
to use your legs to separate
at least one hand from the web.
Its also worth noting that
now would be a good time to lose
your jacket,
shoes,
even your pants if they’re attached to the web.
"We're going streaking!
You don’t want to wait around
and see what’s coming.
But what if you weren’t so lucky?
What if you manage to get completely snagged,
and the homeowner of this web of death
is lurking nearby?
Well, you’re not going to like
this next bit of advice,
but you've gotta trust me on this.
I mean, it’s not like you have many other options.
You want to make a fuss,
and attract the spider over to you.
Wait, don’t go!.
Hear me out.
I know it sounds insane,
but it may just save your life.
If you're wrapped up like a pig in a blanket,
you'll want to wiggle,
scream,
and essentially have a tantrum.
Now the spider is going to notice this,
as their webs are basically built
with motion sensors.
Your goal would be to make yourself
seem like you’re too big,
or too dangerous,
to be spider food.
And if the spider thinks
that you’re not worth the trouble,
it will cut you loose.
This plan is based on research
showing that putting up a fuss
is the only way to escape.
Scientists at the University of Lahnberge
say that staying active is the best way
to get free from a spider's web.
This is why we see some daring escape artists
in the world of insects.
Well, that’s the plan anyway.
Because it may backfire.
If the spider thinks you look tasty,
well, it will just wrap you up even more.
This will completely restrict your movement,
and well,
things won’t work out for you.
You’re either going to be eaten
or die of dehydration,
or starvation
from being in the web for so long.
Thankfully, we live in a world
where natural spider webs
aren’t capable of catching a human being.
That is, unless we artificially engineer some,
or find ourselves with a sudden case of
giant spiders.
But what if the roles were reversed?
What if you didn’t get stuck in a spider’s web,
but a spider got stuck in you?
What if a spider crawled into your body?
Well, that’s a story for another WHAT IF.

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