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Nasturtium Droplet

According to a display at the San Francisco Exploratorium, tiny surface structures make these nasturtium leaves water-resistant.

 

The uneven surface creates air pockets between water and leaf, so water rolls right off, taking dirt with it. Research on such small-scale surfaces has inspired revolutionary new materials, including water-resistant fabrics.

 

This is an example of biomimicry. For more on biomimicry and other examples of innovation inspired by nature, watch this video by Janine Benyus:

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_GFq12w5WU

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Taken on December 13, 2009