During a scene in 2004’s Spider-Man 2, Spidey uses weird faces, grunts, and his super-strong webbing to stop a runaway train from plunging off the track. Thanks to three students from the UK who opted to focus on important things like the strength of Spider-Man’s web instead of boring stuff like AIDS research, we know now — some nine years later — that Peter Parker’s alter ego really would have been able to save all of the fictional people that were riding the train.
As published in Journal of Physics Special Topics, the researchers figured out that some spider silk possesses the strength required to halt the weight if four fully loaded R160 New York City Subway cars barreling down the track at top speed. For example, Darwin’s bark spider, which is native to Madagascar, can naturally spin a web that’s 10 times stronger than kevlar. Sure, you’d need a whole bunch of it, but the point is it’s doable.
Still, although the mystery has been solved, one burning question looms — will the egghead trio use their research superpowers to look into the validity of Catwoman’s nine lives?