John Thackara | Essays

Edible Architecture

Today seems to be the day when, once a year in this part of France, every spider in the region spins her best possible web at the same moment. Early in the morning, when covered in dew, the whole landscape seems to be dotted with uncountable millions of these amazing structures.

Now, a spider's web, as you may well have heard from Janine Benyus, is made with an input of only dead flies and sunlight and yet is five times stronger than Kevlar — so this particular bio-building spree is amazing to contemplate.

Nobody seems to know why the spiders mount this phenomenal display. I did discover that the spider will sometimes eat some of its own web every day to regain some of the protein lost during the web’s construction.

This would be a splendid form of quality control in human architecture, too. 

Comments [3]

Spider webs amaze me. I take pics of them all the time...In addition to their strength, they also have healing qualities. When you get a cut, find a bit of a web and put it on the cut, and cover with band-aid. It miraculously helps. An old friend from India shared this with me and I doubted it...then my sister was reading a medical journal and they shared how they are researching the properties of webs as surgical sutures...nature is a powerful thing!!
Florence Haridan


thought you might enjoy this...

for me spider are a real symbol of creativity and awareness. One time a spider reproduced a lace pattern in my window...it was remarkably like the lace. i remember being in awe of it, knowing that If I could learn from that little spider, I would be closer to God...
Florence Haridan

the power of protein: http://nymag.com/news/features/placenta-2011-8/index1.html
Kiersten Nash

Jobs | May 26