Flies are able to walk on smooth surfaces like the ceiling because of their sticky and hairy feet. Flies use these feet to grab onto the surface and make their way up the ceiling. This process is done rapidly by flies. They also have special claws on their feet that help them get up and down from the ceiling.
This is possible because insects are small and have a low weight. This allows them to have more surface area than heavier animals. This increases the friction force. Moreover, their feet are covered with tiny hairs. This allows them to maximize the contact area. Insects can even spread their feet wide on rocks or ceilings and use their claws to help them get unstuck.
A recent study at the Max Planck Institute reveals how flies can walk on the ceiling. Researchers found that the angle at which a fly foot touches the surface affects the force of its attachment. A change in angle from 30deg to 90deg can affect the strength of attachment eightfold. Researchers are working on materials that can mimic the adhesive forces of a fly’s foot. If their work proves to be successful, they may be able to develop robots that walk on ceilings.
Flies have feet that are specially made to enable them to walk on surfaces. These feet have microscopic bristles that allow them to detect even the slightest irregularity. They can also use natural adhesives to stay attached to a surface. This allows flies to walk on walls and ceilings.