Word Problem Wednesday: A Very Unusual Spider!

By | Added Sep 21, 2016

Image: By Adam Hammond [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

On this Word Problem Wednesday, the spotlight's on a cute little desert arachnid that's a little more roly-poly than creepy crawly! The golden wheel spider gets around in a rather unorthodox way, as you'll find out when you give our word problem a try. As always, we'll update with the answer tomorrow!

A golden wheel spider tucks its legs in and turns its body into an octagonal wheel in order to travel across the sand. Its legs hit the ground a quarter inch apart. How many times does the spider have to roll over in order to roll a whole yard?

Update: Here's the solution!

The wheel spider turns itself into an octagon whose sides are of an inch. An octagon has 8 sides, so the perimeter of the wheel spider is effectively 1/4 × 8 = 2 inches. There are 12 inches in a foot and 3 feet in a yard, so there are 12 × 3 = 36 inches in a yard. To roll 36 inches, the spider has to roll over 36 ÷ 2 = 18 times.

P.S. Watch the video below to see the golden wheel spider hit the ground rolling to escape a predator (starts at 1:19):