Can spiders fly? When you think of the greatest aviators in the natural world, you probably think of the usual winged suspects like birds, bees, and butterflies. But some of the earth's eight-legged creatures also have specialized ways of soaring through the skies—no wings necessary.
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In a process called ballooning, spiders release fine strands of silk into the air and harness the power of the wind to travel great distances. In fact, some of the longest arachnid flights lasted for thousands of miles.
Today, scientists widely debate the exact science behind spiders' ballooning, but one prominent theory suggests that spiders could be using the electric field in earth's atmosphere, in addition to the wind, to provide lift to their silk strands and send them sailing away.
Discover the amazing aerodynamics of spiders' wingless flight in this latest video from Decoder. For more, read "Soaring Spiders" from the May 2019 issue of National Geographic magazine.
Read more in "See how spiders ‘fly’ for hundreds of miles"
How Spiders Use Electricity to Fly | Decoder