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What Kind of Diet Does Spider-Man Need to Make All that Silk?

Peter Parker was Spider-Man, but he never really had the power to generate what spiders are most famous for: silk (at least in the comics). In the 2002 film Spider-Man however, Tobey McGuire actually mutates a pair of what would be spinnerets on his wrists. But where is he getting the protein for all that silk?

To find out, Mark Lorch, Senior Lecturer in Biological Chemistry at University of Hull, undertook a delightfully nerdy analysis of how many eggs Peter Parker would need to eat to make silk that could support his weight.

First Loch compares the tensile strength of spider silk — how much tension it can be put under before snapping — to piano wire. Then, knowing Spider-Man’s weight, Loch calculated that a line of silk merely 1 millimeter in diameter could support Parker.

If Parker begins his crime-fighting days with maybe 100 meters of silk ready to go, then he would need to make about 90 grams of this hair-thin silk, which would require a breakfast of 60 protein-packed eggs.

But what about that headlong dive to save Mary Jane at the end of the film? Based on how far Parker fell before stopping and how heavy the pair would be, Spider-Man would need to start the day with a 900-egg breakfast in order to produce the silk needed for just that scene.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, eats whatever eggs he can.

Read the full article over at The Conversation.

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  1. Lars says:

    They need to go back to the organic webbing. It makes more sense than those devices that would never be able to hold enough web solution to be practical.

  2. Dude says:

    He’s a mutant, he produces his own protein.

  3. dunce says:

    oh please, the human body has reserves of every resource… this is why you dont die by skipping a meal. within your body and cells are reserves for everything and anything.if parker needed extra protein to create silk, his body would already have it. 

    • Tom says:

      Your body does have researves, but relying on those researves is dangerous. Then what happens when his researves are depleted. This is a baseline of perpetration for it not recovery afterward. Same as when a body builder has protein before a workout, wants to use that as energy and not what he is trying to build.