How strong is a spider web?


Spider webs can be quite delicate, or exceptionally strong, depending on the species and age of the spider. Webs of black widows, for example, are expansive (usually about a cubic foot) and incredibly elastic. You can pluck the threads like guitar strings without breaking them. The webs of Nephila orb weavers from tropical regions are so strong that native peoples in Papua New Guinea use them as handheld fishing nets. In 2010, it was found that a species of orb weaver from Madagascar, Caerostris darwini, produces the world’s toughest biological material. Spider silk, in general, is widely regarded as the strongest natural fabric known, at least half as strong as a steel thread of the same thickness, and much more elastic. Efforts to synthesize spider silk have met with mixed results, but it is not out of the question to imagine a future with bullet-proof vests and parachutes made of spider silk. Spider silk outperforms Kevlar by 300% in its ability to absorb energy before breaking!

Additional Questions

General Spider Questions


Spider Webs

Spider Bites