As spider silk is stronger than steel, smaller than human hair, elastic, flexible and biodegradable, human use it for thousands of years for various purposes such as bandages to bulletproof vests.
Scientists in the 19th century used telescopes to study spider silk, and they found that spider silk is 30 times smaller than human hair, only 1/10,000 inches wide. Therefore, spider silk could be used to form crosshairs without any problem. This technique was later applied in the Second World War. Fighters and bombers used spider silk for their gun aiming and range finder.
The ancient Greeks take cobwebs and use them as bandages to stop bleeding and protect wounds. Bandages not only can protect the wound, but also can clean and free from potential infection.
Spider silk is used by many cultures for fishing, because it is strong, and fine. In the Solomon Islands, spider silk helps villagers fish in a variety of ways. Some users even collect spider webs and make it into fishing nets.
Scientists expect spider silk for various future uses. Spider silk can be used as a biodegradable substitute for Kevlar in a bulletproof vest, as a lightweight waterproof garment. Or it even may act as an alternative muscle or ligament in the human body. Spider silk collection is time-consuming and expensive, thus scientists are experimenting with ways to mass-produce spider silk in other ways, such as the University of Wyoming. If this is achieved, many theoretical uses of spider silk may become more common.
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