Science & Technology

Scientists have translated the spider web into music, which is very fascinating

Spiders rely heavily on tactile sensation to sense the world around them. Their bodies and legs are covered with small hairs and slits that distinguish different types of vibrations.

When a prey hits a net, it produces a vibrating scream that is very different from, for example, another spider screaming or stirring a breeze. Each strand of the web produces a different tone.

A few years ago, scientists transformed the three-dimensional structure of a spider web into music and collaborated with artist Thomas Saraseno to “. Spider canvas..

The team later refined and built the previous work and added an interactive virtual reality component to allow people to access and interact with the web.

According to the team, this study will not only help us better understand the three-dimensional architecture of spider webs, but may also help us learn the vibrating language of spiders.

“Spiders live in an environment where the strings vibrate.” MIT engineer Markus Buehler described in 2021.. “They don’t look very good, so they feel their world through vibrations with different frequencies.”

When you think of a spider web, you probably think of an orb weaver web. It has flat, round, radial spokes around which the spider creates a spiral net. However, most spider webs are not of this type and are built in three dimensions, such as sheet webs, tangle webs, and funnel webs.

To investigate the structure of these types of webs, the team has a tropical tent web spider (Cyrtophora citricola) In a rectangular enclosure, I waited for it to fill the space with a three-dimensional web. We then used a sheet laser to illuminate and create a high-resolution image of a 2D cross section of the web.

Next, a specially developed algorithm spliced ​​the 3D architecture of the Web from these 2D cross sections. To turn this into music, different sound frequencies were assigned to different strands. The notes generated in this way were played in a pattern based on the structure of the web.

They also scanned while the web was spinning and converted each step of the process into music. This means that the notes change as the structure of the web changes, allowing listeners to hear the process of building the web.

Having a record of the step-by-step process means that Spiders can better understand how to build a 3D Web without a support structure. For example, a skill you can use for 3D printing.

Spider canvas Audiences could listen to spider music, but virtual reality, which allows users to enter and play their own web strands, adds a whole new layer of experience, researchers said.

“The virtual reality environment is really intriguing because the ears pick up structural features that you may see but are not immediately recognizable.” Buhler explained..

“By listening to it and seeing it at the same time, you can really start to understand the environment in which the spider lives.”

This VR environment has realistic web physics, and researchers can also understand what happens when they mess with parts of the web. Stretching the strands changes its tone. Break one and see how it affects the other strands around it.

This also helps to understand the cobweb architecture and why they are built that way.

Perhaps most attractively, this work allows the team to develop algorithms that identify the types of cobweb vibrations and make them “captured prey,” “web under construction,” or “another spider’s amorous intent.” It is possible to convert to “Arrived at”.

According to the team, this is the basis for learning to speak a spider, at least a tropical tent web spider.

“Now we are basically trying to generate a synthetic signal to speak the spider’s language.” Buhler said..

“Can exposing them to a particular rhythm or vibration pattern affect their behavior and start communicating with them? They are really exciting ideas.”

The team’s previous survey was in 2018 Journal of the Royal Society Interface..

Earlier versions of this article were published in April 2021.

Scientists have translated the spider web into music, which is very fascinating Scientists have translated the spider web into music, which is very fascinating

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