Arachnids may use natural electric fields to help them stay airborne for up to hundreds of miles, scientists say

In October 1832 a young naturalist named Charles Darwin watched with delight as hundreds of tiny spiders dangling from short silk threads floated on to HMS Beagle as the ship made for Buenos Aires.

Darwin reasoned that the spiders must have flown at least 60 miles before reaching the vessel. But even as he marvelled at their aerial antics, a debate was under way as to how spiders became airborne in the first place.

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