Actually, Stephen Colbert, Spider-Man Could Climb Walls, Says an Engineer

A Stanford researcher posted a video testing new technology to prove it.

Stephen Colbert should really do his homework before doubting science. He should at least think twice before trusting a bunch of Brits about something as American as Spider-Man.

On a recent Late Show, Colbert lamented a study by Cambridge zoologists that determined that Spider-Man shouldn’t be able to climb on walls, based on the way geckos pull off the same feat.

“No wall climbing? That’s one of the main things that Spider-Man does,” Colbert said. “Without that, he just shoots goo and is radioactively guilty about his uncle.”

The rejoinder came from a postdoctoral research fellow named Elliot Hawkes. He claims that back in 2014 he proved that it is possible for humans to scale walls. “Here at Stanford,” he says in a video response to Colbert, “we had an issue with that.”

As part of his dissertation, Hawkes developed some awesome spidey hands that distribute a human’s weight so that it’s actually possible to climb a glass wall.

He took the occasion of Colbert’s dubious claim to break out the mitts again and give us a demonstration, all while throwing a bit of shade at our friends across the pond.

Thanks, Cambridge. We’ll take the future from here.