The real reason Spider-Man would not be able to scale buildings

Scientists have explained that humans would need to evolve impossibly large sticky pads to make like the web-slinger

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The Independent Culture

Spider-Man fans, prepare to have your dreams crushed, as scientists have revealed that impossibly large hands and feet would be required to let a human stick to a wall.

Researchers at Cambridge University have stated that the gecko is the largest animal able to support its own weight and scale buildings without falling off.

For humans to mimic a gecko we would need to evolve 43-inch hands and European size 145 feet as the bigger and heavier the animal, the greater the body surface required to be “sticky”. 

This means we would require 40 per cent of our body surfaces to be covered in adhesives. Sadly, it’s just never going to happen, despite what your favourite superhero would have you believe.

Dr David Labonte from Cambridge’s Department of Zoology explained that “as animals increase in size, the amount of body surface area per volume decreases - an ant has a lot of surface area and very little volume and a blue whale is mostly volume with not much surface area”.

He continued, according to the BBC: “This poses a problem for larger climbing species because, when they are bigger and heavier, they need more sticking power to be able to adhere to vertical or inverted surfaces, but they have comparatively less body surface available to cover with sticky footpads.

“This implies that there is a size limit to sticky footpads as an evolutionary solution to climbing - and that turns out to be about the size of a gecko”.

The scientists did discover that larger animals such as frogs have started developing stickier rather than bigger pads but, alas, your Spidey suit is destined to remain as nothing more than a fancy dress costume for now. Pin all your hopes on technology because biology just failed us.