Know How Spiders Weave Webs In Space Without Gravity

By: | December 15th, 2020

We all know Spiders create a beautiful web for trapping their prey. And now researchers at the International Space Station (ISS) have shown that spiders can build webs regardless of the existence of gravity. 

In experiments, researchers studied orb spiders (Trichonephila clavipes) in space. ISS researchers kept these smart arachnids on the ISS for studying how they spin their webs in microgravity. Researchers discovered that in space, spiders orient their asymmetric webs around a light source. 

At ISS, in the absence of gravity, a light source provides a frame of reference for the spiders. They also found that, in presence of a light source, spiders weave their normal asymmetric webs. But in absence of light, they build symmetrical webs. , which isn’t normal behavior. 

In this amazing discovery, scientists came to know about the relative unimportance of gravity for spiders when weaving their webs.

“We wouldn’t have guessed that light would play a role in orienting the spiders in space,” said Samuel Zschokke from the University of Basel in a statement. “We were very fortunate that the lamps were attached at the top of the chamber and not on various sides. Otherwise, we would not have been able to discover the effect of light on the symmetry of webs in zero gravity.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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