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Experiment: Why Spiders Don’t Stick (Camp Edition)

Spiders can be quite sticky yet somehow they don’t stick to their webs! This experiment lets you explore this phenomenon.


  • Double sided tape or clear packing tape
  • Paper or a dinner plate
  • Cooking oil (any type)
  • Fingers


Step 1: Tear off a 3” strip of double sided tape. Or if using packing tape tear off a 5” strip of tape and make a tape loop with the sticky side facing out. Stick the tape to a piece of paper or a dinner plate.

Step 2: Walk your fingers across the tape. Pretty sticky, huh?

Step 3: Now dip your fingers in some cooking oil and walk them across the tape a second time. What did you notice this time? Not so sticky, huh?

What in the WOW just happened? Your oily fingers simulate what it’s like to be a spider. Spiders produce oils that allow them to glide along their webs without sticking. Pretty cool!