By Jair Martinez
Swinging through the streets of New York, crawling on buildings, and fighting crime. Who is it? Well it’s no one else but your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man! What if you were able to become a real life Spider-Man? With real life web shooters, super strength, and spidey senses. Well what if I told you that it is possible?
As for the web shooters, spider silk as strong as the one used by Spider-Man has already been invented. Spider silk is five times stronger than steel and three times more resilient than Kevlar. This synthetic fiber is used in bulletproof vests and sports equipment because of its strength, which might even be able to withstand the weight of a person, or in other words, a Spider-Man. Spider silk is also thermally and electrically conductive, and has antimicrobial properties which can help the wound heal. In 2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Spidey seals up his bullet wound with his webbing. This makes sense because if the fictional spider web is anything similar to real life spider silk, the thermally and antimicrobial properties of the spider web would have helped Spidey close up the wound and prevent it from getting infected. Unfortunately, spider silk is not as easy to make as seen in the movies, as it would take 400 spiders to produce a square yard of cloth, and 1,500 strands of silk to make a usable thread. Until we find a way to create it as easily as Spider-Man, let’s see if his other characteristics are possible.
One of Spider-Man’s most important power is his sixth sense—the spider sense. This is apparently not something of superheroes and comic books. In our case, it’s a literal spider sense. Human spider sense allows us to be more aware when one of those eight-legged freaks is around. Scientist believe that we developed this sense when humans were still out door creatures to avoid the poisonous spiders.
As for super strength, there have been many cases of people having the ability to carry inhuman amounts of weight in moments of distress. For example the famous case of a 120 pound mother lifting a vehicle a foot off the ground in order to save her child. This sudden ability of super strength was caused by “hysterical strength,” which is when our muscle tendons feature a physiological component called a golgi tendon organ. Its purpose is to inhibit the muscles from producing too much contractile force, which could cause tissue damage. It is theorized that in cases of hysterical strength, the brain overrides the golgi organ, thus allowing a person to exceed his or her strength threshold.
Having all of this in mind, theoretically a real life Spider-Man is possible. Sure, if one were to accomplish becoming the Spider-Man they probably wouldn’t be as powerful as the Spider-Man from the comic books, but it would definitely be awesome. For now, we will have to wait until the day that we see a person in a Spider-Man costume swinging through the streets of New York, fighting crime. Until then, the friendly neighborhood will remain fictional. But always keep in mind, you don’t need superpowers to be a hero.