In the Spider-Man comics and movies, mild-mannered Peter Parker finds himself able to climb up the side of buildings after being bitten by a radioactive spider.
In real life, enterprising scientist Jem Stansfield got the same effect from two vacuum cleaners he bought at Tesco.
He adapted the household appliances" motors into giant sucker pads, then used them to crawl up a 30ft wall.
A crowd of amazed onlookers watched the presenter from BBC One"s Bang Goes The Theory scale the side of a school and retrieve a lost shuttlecock from the roof as part of the Brighton Science Festival Programme.
He completed the daredevil stunt without a safety helmet after fixing the cleaners to a back pack attached to two "vacuum gloves".
Afterwards Mr Stansfield, 39, an aeronautics graduate who weighs about 12st, said: "I came across the idea when I was doing a challenge to make superhuman powers out of junk.
"I worked out the vacuum cleaners could support my weight.
"I attached pads roughly the size of tea trays to the nozzle and realised they pressed tightly against the wall and could hold me.
"Activities like this can teach children that if you understand the world around you, you can make it work for you.
"Normal boring day-to-day objects can do exciting things for you."
Festival organiser Richard Robinson admitted he thought the stunt would flop when he was told about it.
He said: "We all laughed. We didn"t think it would ever work, then we turned around and he was climbing a wall."
Before becoming a TV presenter, Mr Stansfield created special effects for films including Lost In Space and Van Helsing, and produced exhibits for the Science Museum and Royal Observatory.
He invented the world"s first air-powered motorbike, and won a New Scientist prize for boots that walk on water.
More recently he succeeded in making a rocket run on toffee by filling a tube with the sweet and firing nitrous oxide down a hole in the middle of it.
It was capable of powering a bicycle ridden by Mr Stansfield at a test base.
For his next trick, he hopes to drive a car all the way from London to Manchester, powered only by coffee beans.
Vacuum Cleaner-Man! Inventor uses suction to crawl up a wall, Spider-Man-styleVacuum Cleaner-Man! Inventor uses suction to crawl up a wall, Spider-Man-style