How can a spider survive 4 minutes inside a microwave?

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Karina van Twisk

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Karina van Twisk  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Naked Scientists!

My husband and I are big fans of your show, and we never miss any of your podcasts. I have a question that came out in our minds today after a what I thought would be a serious incident....

I was heating our dinner in the microwave when I remove the plates out and see a spider inside, I got sad because I though I might have killed her but no, she was alive and kicking. We removed her from the microwave and put her on a safe place. This spider is commonly known as the jumping spider, not so big in size.

So my question is:

How come a spider survives a good 4 minutes inside a working microwave?

Thanks for your response in advance and congratulations for your show!

Best Regards,

Karina van Twisk

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 15/11/2010 07:30:05 by _system »


Offline QuantumClue

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How can a spider survive 4 minutes inside a microwave?
« Reply #1 on: 15/11/2010 08:59:14 »
The reason is due to microwave hotspots. The same happens with an ant. An ant has something inside the little bugger that tells it where to avoid - So in effect, radiation inside a microwave only heats up portions of the internal structure.