How can some insects like housefly walk upside down on the ceiling?

Insects have a whole world unto themselves, so it’s not surprising that many of their actions are a mystery to us. For instance, ants touch each other’s heads, while spiders spin thread out of seemingly nothing. With scientific research and observation, however, we can get an answer to most of these questions.

Many people will also question how insects can walk upside down on ceilings? A housefly, for example, can understandably fly due to its wings. Walking on a ceiling, however, seems to defy gravity. There are actually more than one answers to this, so let’s check them out:

When the foot of a fly is seen through the microscope, two membranes, or cushions, can be noticed. These are covered with tiny hairs, each with a disc at the end. Some scientists believe that these discs act as suction pads or suckers; when a fly walks on the ceiling, the discs hold the fly up there by their internal air pressure. Against this theory, however, is the fact that when the air is drawn out of a vessel in which the fly is walking upside down, the insect does not fall off.

Other scientists who have carefully studied the fly believe that it is able to hold onto a ceiling or wall by means of a sticky substance coming out from the underside of the foot. Each hair would act as a tiny tube for conveying this liquid from the little pouch in which it is produced, pouring it out as required.

Both these answers point to a fascinating aspect of the housefly’s body. However the fly performs the feat, it still seems to be defying gravity. Many other insects have the same ‘sticky feet’ 

and other features that help them to climb walls and even walk on ceilings without falling.  

There are several books that can help us learn more about insects and understand their ways. It’s also important for children to learn about insects from a young age so they can be stimulated by the world around them.