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Bam! Science Inspired by Superheroes

By Eric Roston - 2013-12-17T14:48:54Z

Photograph by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Sony Pictures

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Spider-Man's Wall Crawling

So many animals -- from spiders and insects to squirrels and lizards -- can climb vertically that critters probably wouldn't even consider Spider-Man’s wall-crawling a superpower. They'd just think it's weird nobody else can do it.

People might be able to once scientists perfect synthetic Gecko feet glue. Geckos, and spiders, stick to walls because tiny hooks and hairs together take advantage of forces that dominate the atomic-scale world. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, researchers have developed Geckskin, an extremely powerful adhesive. The ability to don a pair of gecko-tape gloves and scale walls like Spider-Man might not be fantasy at all.

Left: The Amazing Spider-Man, 2012.