Science enthusiasts and Peter Parker fans alike will get a kick out of this news- and so would Peter Parker himself!  Comicbook.com  has reported that two new spider species have been discovered in Iran, and the archaeologists took inspiration from the big screen incarnations of Spider-Man when naming the species.  Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield now have the honor of adding to their respective namesakes the Filistata maguirei and Pritha garfieldi!  Yuri M. Marusik and Alireza Zamani are the two archaeologists that published the papers which christened the new species. The spiders were found in the Geno Biosphere Reserve of southern Iran, and in the Alborz Mountains of northern Iran. Both species come from the same family, Filistatidae, which boast a common name of Crevice Weavers, as that’s where they like to build their homes. As the paper notes, the spiders “are venomous, but do not pose a risk to humans,”which is probably what Spider-Man would want.  Read on to get a look at these suckers! (more…)


Not to say that it would be EASY to pull off, but as far as the tensile strength of certain kinds of spider webbing go–specifically that of the Darwin’s bark spider–stopping a subway train might be “amazing”, but it’s by no means absurd.

A group of students at the University of Leicester (on the heels of another academic who recently built a “spider sense suit”) determined that to stop a train as in the famous scene from Spider-Man 2, the webbing would need to absorb approximately 500 million joules of energy to withstand 300,000 Newtons of force without snapping. All it needs is to be properly anchored–and get this: Only ONE strand of spider silk would be necessary, not the multiple strands Spidey uses in the film (though I have to applaud his erring on the side of caution). It just HAS to be the Darwin’s bark spider, whose silk is 10 times stronger than kevlar.

As one of the study’s (charmingly titled “Doing Whatever A Spider Can”) three authors, Alex Stone puts it:

“It is often quoted that spider webs are stronger than steel, so we thought it would be interesting to see whether this held true for Spider-Man’s scaled up version. We were surprised to find out that the webbing was portrayed accurately.”

Fascinating….But I admit I have my doubts: Someone get Mythbusters on this!

Source: The Mary Sue