Spiders on Speed: NASA scientists inexplicably investigated web spinning by stoned spiders. Turns out that the geometrical structure of a web provides a good measure of the condition of its central nervous system.
• LSD: Webs took on a minimalist structure.
• Marijuana: Spiders made a reasonable stab at spinning webs but appeared to lose concentration about half-way through.
• Amphetamine (“speed”): Webs retained their size but showed an increase in spiral spacing and radius irregularity, as well as a decrease in building efficiency. Spiders spin their webs “with great gusto, but apparently without much planning leaving large holes”, according to New Scientist magazine.
• Caffeine: makes spiders incapable of spinning anything better than a few threads strung together at random.
• Chloral hydrate (an ingredient of sleeping pills): spiders “drop off before they even get started”.
In slightly more relevant work, spiders were shown to spin perfectly good webs in microgravity ▶ http://goo.gl/0T7lK
Extrapolation to Humans: Stunning “under the influence” self portraits of artist Bryan Lewis Saunders in Feisal Kamil’s post here ▶ http://goo.gl/3xYSy Warning: Do not try this at home!
Confession: Since I’m jet lagged and awake since midnight, I’ve been abusing caffeine. I won’t post a picture of my web.
Hilarious “mocumentary”: Spiders On Drugs
#sciencesunday ScienceSunday #spidersunday