Shrimp-like species can create ultra-sticky silk that’s as strong as steel

The marine animal Crassicorophium bonellii looks like a shrimp, but it acts more like a spider. The creature uses its legs to spin silk that’s both incredibly hard and super sticky… and could be of great medical use to humans.

Researchers from the Oxford Silk Group have studied the creature’s silk-making, which it uses to construct the muddy tubes in which it lives. The silk shares some adhesive properties with the stuff barnacles use to stick to things. The fact that it can cement underwater already gives it some pretty impressive – and potentially useful – properties, but that isn’t the end of it. The silk has the same strength and flexibility seen in spider silk, which is as strong as steel.

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