Researchers have found Spider-Man would need much larger hands and feet if he were to scale walls in real life. That's because the superhero – and any human for that matter – would need a much larger body surface area equipped with far more sticky footpads to support his weight. That's why geckos are the largest animals able to scale smooth vertical walls.
The ability of spiders to adapt to their local environment and humidity levels by altering the viscosity of their "web glue" may help scientists develop stronger adhesives.
Imagine owning a surfboard that can seal its own cracks without having to cure in the sun for days. That's a reality that may be made possible thanks to a new synthesized polymer inspired by the sticky properties of mussels.