Spider's silk is as strong as steel and a fraction as dense, making it a materials marvel.
Unbelievably, scientists at the University of Trento in Italy have improved these properties significantly using an unlikely method.
The Trento team began with 15 Pholicidae spiders (aka the daddy long legs spider) which were kept in a controlled environment and then had their silk extracted and thoroughly tested.
The same spiders were then, in comic book villain style, sprayed with a mixture of carbon nanotubes and graphene. Their silk was then tested again.
The results showed that the new silk possessed a toughness that surpasses that of materials like the synthetic polymer kevlar, which is known for making bulletproof vests. In fact, the new material is stronger than any fibre ever recorded.
The team suspects that the nanotubes and graphene are incorporated into the centre of each fibre as it is spun, enhancing its strength greatly.
It's easy to become tangled in their webs, but surprisingly no one has yet discovered a way of efficiently harvesting spider's silk, and this difficult obstacle must be overcome before mankind can make use of such an uber material.
If this hurdle can be overcome, there are myriad possibilites for an ultra flexible, strong, tough, and light material, which range from more effective armor to wearable technology. Just remember when it arrives that you've got our insectoid friends to thank.[souce Cornell University]