The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water…what?

From 538 Significant Digits:

100 volts

Since at least the days of of Darwin, we’ve known that spiders could fly, miles up and hundreds of miles away. They don’t have wings, but they can thrust out strands of silk and float away. It was thought that their silk caught the wind, like a kite. But, in fact, it seems that spiders take advantage of Earth’s electric field — spiders can sense it and the air can be charged with as little as about 100 volts, which launches them. To recap: Spiders, flying hundreds of miles, fueled by the high voltage of thunderstorms. Got it. Sweet dreams. [The Atlantic]

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