I would just like to make mention of a fact I recently discovered. After squashing a spider with a block of styrofoam, I noticed a little pit in the foam where the spider was. Spider guts dissolve styrofoam!! Isn’t that wierd? Try it yourself with a styrofoam cup and a pesky little spider. Squish it with a flat area on the cup so that the spider’s guts get on the cup. You should see some pitting on the surface of the cup.

(note: this will work best with a spider that has a large backside)

Why does it do this? Well it has to do with the spider’s web making material. The spider’s web is made from some polymers we understand little about, except that it is a liquid inside the spider and it solidifies when pulled from the spinnerettes. That means it contains some sort of solvent keeping the web dissolved. Well, this solvent just so happens to also dissolve polystyrene – styrofoam!

Some other solvent with the same effect are gasoline, acetone, turpentine, and paint thinners.

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