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Hint: It takes more than a cool Spidey outfit. (Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire URN:20378836)

Thank goodness for science, which now informs us that a real-life Spider-Man is impractical:

Scientists at the University of Cambridge determined that as climbing animals get larger and heavier, the surface amount of “sticky” pads needed on their body increases at an exponential rate.

In the case of Spider-Man, that would mean he’d need sticky pads covering 40 percent of his body to climb walls with sticking power.

Here’s why it would never work out for Spider-Man: As animals get bigger, their body surface area per volume decreases. David Labonte, a researcher at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology, made the comparison between an ant and an elephant. The ant has plenty of surface area with a low volume, while an elephant has a large volume for relatively little surface area.

“This poses a problem for larger climbing animals because, when they are bigger and heavier, they need more sticking power, but they have comparatively less body surface available for sticky footpads,” Labonte said in a statement. “This implies that there is a maximum size for animals climbing with sticky footpads — and that turns out to be about the size of a gecko.”


And let’s face facts. “Gecko-Man” is never going to catch on.


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