Meet Rabbit, the only brown recluse spider you’re ever going to feel sorry for. That’s because you’re watching her be restrained and milked for her super-strong silk. Oof.
Rabbit is one of many spiders to be found in research laboratories at the University of Oxford’s Silk Group. But she is, according to researcher Sean Koebley, hands-down the most reliable and profuse silk producer he’s ever come across.
The silk of brown-recluse spiders is generally some of the best — because it’s both strong and very sticky, as well as being flat instead of round. Indeed, the researchers compare it to packaging tape, although being five-times tougher than Kevlar and and only a few molecular layers thin, it would probably be overkill for your next online order shipment.