Geckos, spiders and other small animals are the inspiration behind DARPA’s Z-Man Climbing System. These creatures scale vertical surfaces using unique systems that exhibit strong reversible adhesion via van der Waals forces or hook-into-surface asperities. Z-Man seeks to create synthetic versions of these biological systems, optimize them for efficient human climbing and use them as novel climbing aids. A proof-of-concept demonstration showed that a 16-square-inch sheet of Geckskin adhering to a vertical glass wall could support a static load of up to 660 pounds. Continue reading for more interesting images from around the web.