Spiders Spin Balloons to Fly Away
It turns out spiders may be some of nature's best little pilots.
Using a technique called “ballooning,” they release sail-like trails of silk that lift them up and off into the wind. In some cases, they drop just a few feet from their takeoff site; in others, they get caught in jet streams that take them across oceans. In all cases, they go where the wind takes them.
Aerodynamics engineer Moonsung Cho from Berlin's Technical Institute recently set out to find out how spiders seem to “fly.” Were they randomly shooting out webs or acting more deliberately, he wondered.
He started by gathering 14 crab spiders. They were chosen because they're on the heavier side of spiders that show this