According to a new paper published in the journal PNAS, that's because the tiny droplets of "watery glue" that coat the spider's silk act as a spool that reels in loose thread and keep it from sagging or stretching. With that as their inspiration, a team of researchers from Oxford University and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie were able to recreate the the technique using plastic filaments coated in oil droplets. According to the team's lead Dr. Hervé Elettro, the synthetic spider silk, which they're calling a "liquid wire," could prove to be incredibly useful in the fields of materials, engineering and medicine. "Our bio-inspired hybrid threads could be manufactured from virtually any components," Elettro wrote. "These new insights could lead to a wide range of applications, such as microfabrication of complex structures, reversible micro-motors, or self-tensioned stretchable systems."