Black Widow Spins Web to Help Build Weapons for U.S. Army (Nov, 1953)

Black Widow Spins Web to Help Build Weapons for U.S. Army

The black-widow spicier above is a defense worker. Its web filaments are used by Northrop as cross hairs in microscopes and telescopes for Army tank sights. Tougher than steel, they are so fine that 5,000 of them laid side by side take up only an inch.

At left, the spider is having a health check in the plastic box where it lives between jobs. At right, it has climbed out on a stick and is about to be shaken loose. As the spider falls on its back to the floor, it will spin a six-foot strand.

2 comments
  1. Chainsaw Fencing Champ says: September 9, 20075:47 pm

    Great stuff, but you’ve got to question their safety procedures. I heard that some chemistry student got bit while touring this lab. He turned out okay though. Working as a photographer in nyc last I heard.

  2. Village Idiot says: September 11, 20071:00 pm

    Black Widow bites aren’t that bad if the person is a healthy adult (relatively speaking). I know two people who’ve been bitten, one spent three days wandering around his apartment hallucinating before he was back to normal (except for his new super powers of course).

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