Peter Parker was Spider-Man, but he never really had the power to generate what spiders are most famous for: silk (at least in the comics). In the 2002 film Spider-Man however, Tobey McGuire actually mutates a pair of what would be spinnerets on his wrists. But where is he getting the protein for all that silk?
To find out, Mark Lorch, Senior Lecturer in Biological Chemistry at University of Hull, undertook a delightfully nerdy analysis of how many eggs Peter Parker would need to eat to make silk that could support his weight.
First Loch compares the tensile strength of spider silk — how much tension it can be put under before snapping — to piano wire. Then, knowing Spider-Man’s weight, Loch calculated that a line of silk merely 1 millimeter in diameter could support Parker.
If Parker begins his crime-fighting days with maybe 100 meters of silk ready to go, then he would need to make about 90 grams of this hair-thin silk, which would require a breakfast of 60 protein-packed eggs.
But what about that headlong dive to save Mary Jane at the end of the film? Based on how far Parker fell before stopping and how heavy the pair would be, Spider-Man would need to start the day with a 900-egg breakfast in order to produce the silk needed for just that scene.
Spider-Man, Spider-Man, eats whatever eggs he can.
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