10 Scientific Secrets Of Spider-Man Only Geeks Will Love

Scientific examination reveals many incredible facts about the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man
Marvel Comics

Spider-Man was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first premiered in Amazing Fantasy #15 with a cover date of August 1962. He is Peter Parker, an intellectually gifted science “nerd” who was 15 years old when he was bitten by a radioactively irradiated spider at a science expo. The bite created a body-wide transformation that mimic the abilities of a spider and transferred them to Peter.

Discovering his powers by accident after he was nearly hit by an out-of-control motorist, an ad offering money to challenge wrestler “Crusher” Hogan seemed like an excellent opportunity for the scientifically proficient teen to test his new-found powers. Wearing a mask just in case he humiliated himself, Peter used his strength, agility, acrobatic skills, precognition-like “Spider-Sense” and a little bit of physics to easily defeat the confused wrestler.

Again drawing on his intellect and scientific talents, Peter Parker designed and created his web shooters and the web fluid they use. He also designed and created his own first costume and the identity of Spider-Man. With it, he became a television sensation until a bad decision and fate taught him the lesson that would define his life: With great power must also come great responsibility. With that maxim, his genius intellect, and his incredible powers, Peter abandoned fame to become one of the greatest and most selfless heroes ever imagined.

10. Spider-Man’s Early Tech Was Cool But Hardly Cutting Edge

Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man

From the very beginning, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko portrayed Peter Parker as an intelligent young man with a love for science. After the spider bite, Peter realized that Spider-Man was nothing without “webs.” To this end, Parker created twin wrist-worn web-shooting devices of his own design.

The spinnerets mechanisms on the web shooters are stainless steel with Teflon turbines, and the two turbine bearings are made from amber and artificial sapphire. For the cartridges that hold the web fluid, they're made from nickel-plated brass, with the nozzles being stainless steel with brass caps tightly wedged in the top. Where the shooters are concerned, they're activated by a palm trigger attached to a stainless steel band that requires a double tap from Spidey’s super strong fingers and 65 lbs (29.5 kg) of pressure to avoid misfires.

Spider-Man’s web fluid is a substance that Peter designed himself when he was a teenager. The fluid is a shear-thinning liquid similar to nylon that is nearly solid until it comes in contact with air, and the long-chain polymers knit together to become as strong as steel. Over time, the polymers break down and, in about an hour, dissolve into powder. In The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #7, Thomas Fireheart, aka the villainous Puma, employed a whole group of scientists to recreate the web fluid - and of course they failed to adequately do so.


John Wilson has been a comic book and pop culture fan his entire life. He has written for a number of websites on the subject over the years and is especially pleased to be at WhatCulture. John has written two comic books for Last Ember Press Studio and has recently self-published a children's book called "Blue." When not spending far too much time on the internet, John spends time with his lovely wife, Kim, their goofy dog, Tesla, and two very spoiled cats.