• Question: How do flies walk on the ceiling?

    Asked by amie.x to Sameed, Jose, Joanna, Heidi, Freya on 8 Nov 2019.
    • Photo: Jose Brandao-Neto

      Jose Brandao-Neto answered on 8 Nov 2019:

      dear free362sun,


      You came to the right zone! Using electromagnetic forces!!

      the fly’s paws have glue, which works by connecting the material from the paw with the material of the surface (in a weak-ish chemical bond), helped by the ultimately rough nature of most surfaces.

      At the microscopic level, chemical bonding is a quantum electromagnetic phenomenon.

      ## Check my prize pledge at the bottom of my profile!!

    • Photo: Heidi Thiemann

      Heidi Thiemann answered on 9 Nov 2019:

      Flies have sticky little feet, so when they land on the ceiling they don’t fall off. Other animals like tree frogs also have sticky feet to help them hold onto trees.

      But having sticky feet means that flies need a way of unsticking themselves, so they have little claws on the end of their feet which helps them push their feet off of whatever they’re stuck to.

      Some animals don’t use stick goo, but actually have little microscopic hairs like velcro that they use to hold onto surfaces.