Scientists Have Discovered a Way to Talk to Spiders

Evan Brown

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scientists have turned spider webs into an eerie soundtrack. Although this may sound like a waste of time or a fun little experiment, this music can help scientists better understand how arachnids spin their complex creations and even how they communicate.

The MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) team worked with fellow researchers to take laser scans of a spider web. They used this to create a mathematical equation to implement into virtual reality. They also worked with MIT’s music department to create the harp-like virtual instrument.

Markus Buehler, an MIT engineering professor, said, “Even though the web looks really random, there actually are a lot of internal structures and you can visualize them and you can look at them, but it’s really hard to grasp for the human imagination or human brain to understand all these structural details.” When you play music while moving around the spider web in virtual reality, you can see and hear the structural changes, which gives a better idea of how spiders see the world.

“We’re beginning to perhaps be able to speak the language of a spider,” he said. “The hope is that we can then play these back to the web structure to enhance the ability to communicate with the spider and perhaps induce the spider to act in a certain way, to respond to the signals in a certain way.”

Although many people have a fear of spiders, including me, the topic at hand is quite an interesting one. To think that scientists would discover a way to talk to spiders blows me away. As technology continues to advance, scientists will continue to break new boundaries every day.