Sci/Tech Ocean-going spiders can use their legs to windsurf across water

Discussion in 'News Archive' started by tom_mai78101, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    Sailors and travellers, including Charles Darwin aboard HMS Beagle, have often reported seeing "ballooning" spiders flutter from the air into the sails of their ships, far away from any shore.

    Dispersing spiders are known to use strands of silk to remain airborne in gusts of wind, but what happens if they are swept offshore and land in water?

    We thought they would drown, but it turns out they are as adept at sailing as they are aeronautics.

    "It was like an illusion," says Morito Hayashi of London's Natural History Museum, who first noticed common UK spider species sailing in the lab. He was studying their flight, trying to figure out how they take off when he spotted the sailing behaviour. "I was amazed that these common spiders, found in everyone's gardens, had such skilful sailing behaviour that no one had noticed before."

    Read more here. (NewScientist)

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