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Spiders webs

  1. Apr 14, 2015 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I recently encountered that dreaded moment when walking where you get a face full of an seemingly invisible spider web. It got me thinking about why these webs are so difficult for humans to distinguish; unless of course we see them at the correct angle. Do they somehow bend light to make them indistinguishable from their surroundings?

    Note: I'd enjoy hearing about how this material interacts with light, and the physics behind why this material or any material like it is so difficult to see.

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2015 #2
    I guess that spider webs evolved the way they did as there is an obvious natural selection advantage for a spider making webs that are almost invisible = more food.
    It's not surprising that a web which is almost invisible to the spider's prey is also almost invisible for a human.

    I don't think it's to do with bending light, it's seems more likely that because the individual strands are so very thin this makes it difficult for the visual cognitive process to distinguish from background.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
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