Biomimicry translates to “imitation of the living,” and is the practice of taking inspiration from nature, and applying it to human challenges to create sustainable solutions. Researchers do this by reverse-engineering thousands of years of evolution into something humans can actually use to their benefit in a natural, safe way.
In the case of the butterfly in the rain, the researchers uncovered that micro-size bumps and a nano-size layer of wax shatter and spread high-speed raindrops to protect from physical damage as well as temperature changes.
The researchers recorded multiple times that when a raindrop hit the surface, it would ripple and spread. A nanoscale wax layer would repel the water, while larger micro-size bumps on the surface created holes in the spreading raindrop. According to the researchers, it's like dropping a balloon onto a needle, which breaks the balloon into smaller pieces.
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