How a Gecko Defies Gravity

A gecko's tight grip on walls and ceilings suggests new types of sticky materials.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM November 18, 2003

Kellar Autumn was in Hawaii when he noticed a big, creepy spider crawling across the ceiling of his hotel room. The biologist is scared of spiders and wondered what to do. Just then, a gecko scurried over to the spindly beast, attacked, and knocked it off the ceiling.


The spider "almost fell right on me," says Autumn, who was lying in bed at the time. "I was terrified."


Once he got over his fear, Autumn started to think about what he had seen. How did both creatures manage to defy gravity and...

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