Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Spider Web

Spider WebHave you ever walk through a spider web accidentally because you are unable to see or are not aware of its presence? If you have not, you should try it someday. It is quite an experience, and the feeling of it is really 'great', especially when it is at your face.

Removing the web from your face or body does not exactly come easy, and sometimes if you are not aware, the spider may still be hanging to its line of web silk and eventually reside in your clothes somewhere.

Apart from cobwebs, spiders are actually quite loveable. Most spiders are not harmful creatures. In fact, house spiders can be helpful in getting rid of unwanted insects. In ancient times, the Greeks use cobwebs to apply to wounds, which is an effective way to stop excessive bleeding. Research by 19th-century doctors confirmed that spiders coat their silk with antiseptic agents. It was spider webs that French scientist Rene Reaumur came up with the idea of making paper from wood. In the 19th century, astronomers used spider silk as cross-hairs on their telescopes and in World War II, gunsights and bombsights, range finders and transits, telescopes and microscopes were all using spider silk.

Today, scientists are looking at the amazing structural properties of spider webs to be used in airplanes and bridges, clothing, body armor, and cable.

Berenbaum, M., "Spin Control", The Sciences, Vol. 35, No. 5, September/October 1995, pp. 13-15.
Lienhard, J., "Epidsode 1069: A Spider's Web", The Engines of Our Ingenuity. Houston: University of Houston, 2004.
Preston-Mafham, R., and Preston-Mafham, K., Spiders of the World. New York: Facts On File Publications, 1984.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that's real interesting. i've walked into quite a few spider webs before. you're right. its soft feel is real nice.