Today’s Solutions: May 28, 2022

Have you ever wondered what spiderwebs sound like? Probably not, and neither had we until we came across this project. That curious thought is exactly what prompted scientists at MIT to create a brand-new genre of music — produced by spiders.

How did they do it? Well, according to Futurism, the process involved first creating 3D scans of spider webs and then importing them into a virtual reality setup. Once uploaded onto the virtual environment, the scientists were able to manipulate the webs in different ways and covert the resulting structures and their sound frequencies into a rather compelling piece of ambient music.

“The spider lives in an environment of vibrating strings,” says Markus Buehler, project leader and MIT engineer. “They don’t see very well, so they sense their world through vibrations, which have different frequencies.”

The final melody features a harp-like instrument playing an eerie tune over an echoing effect which, overall, evokes a ghostly and haunting feeling — just what you would expect from a piece of music composed by an arachnid. We suggest you give it a listen yourself by following this link.

While spider music is a fun experiment by itself, the research also has its scientific relevance. Eventually, the team wants to play it to groups of spiders and observe whether they can use the musical vibrations to communicate with the arachnids.

“Now we’re trying to generate synthetic signals to basically speak the language of the spider,” says Buehler. “If we expose them to certain patterns of rhythms or vibrations, can we affect what they do, and can we begin to communicate with them? Those are really exciting ideas.”

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