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Science: No, you can't be Spider-Man

Research shows that humans are just too big to climb walls.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 18, 2016
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We hate to crush your childhood dreams, but we have to be blunt: you're never going to be Spider-Man... not without some technical help, anyway. University of Cambridge researchers have determined that wall crawling isn't naturally feasible for any animal larger than a gecko, since you'd need inordinately large hands and feet to support yourself on the way up. If humans wanted to achieve these gravity-defying feats, they'd need sticky pads across 40 percent of their body surfaces -- try making that superhero movie, Sony.

Don't let the news get you down, though. The findings show that bigger animals partly overcome their size through stickier pads, and this has implications for the creation of large-but-flexible synthetic adhesives that aren't practical right now. There may never be a real Peter Parker, then, but the studies showing why he can't exist might just lead to some technological breakthroughs.

[Image credit: Aby Baker/Getty Images]

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