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Continuing a centuries-long crusade to crush childhood fantasies, science has determined that Spider-Man as we know him couldn’t actually exist. It turns out the superhero’s body is far too big, and his hands and feet way too small, to permit him to adhere to surfaces, making that “wall-crawler” moniker pretty tough to pull off.
Well, it’s not only Spider-Man, whose body and feet seem to be normal-sized, but all humans (sorry, Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen, Silk, et al). There goes the Spider-Verse.
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia determined that Spider-Man couldn’t do whatever a spider can — specifically, scale walls — unless 40 percent of his body was covered in sticky pads, and he possessed enormous feet.
What qualifies as “enormous”? Try size 114 shoes. Add to that roughly 43-inch hands.
“We’d need about 40 percent of our total body surface, or roughly 80 percent of our front, to be covered in sticky footpads if we wanted to do a convincing Spider-Man impression,” explained Dr. David Labonte, Cambridge University’s Department of Zoology.
Those evolutionary limits leave geckos (significantly smaller than Spider-Man) as the largest creature that can adhere to walls and ceilings, followed by tree frogs and, yes, spiders.
That darned Parker Luck strikes again!
(via BBC News)