Saturday January 20th 2018

Walking on Water

Gods in Ancient Egypt could do it; so allegedly could Buddha and Jesus. But for the rest of us lowly human beings – at least, those of us without divine parent- age or supernatural abilities – the closest we can get to walking on water is to strap on a pair of pontoon shoes and hope for the best (an idea first envisaged in sketches by Leonardo da Vinci). But in the animal kingdom, the ability is nothing new. The basilisk lizard uses its specially shaped feet to slap the surface hard enough to keep from sinking as it runs across water. Dolphins use the same technique with their tails, as do some birds.

 

Most insects take a different approach.

Read more about how pond skaters (water striders) walk on water in the November 2012 issue of Physics World

 

Previous Topic:

More from category

Metagenomics for foodies
Metagenomics for foodies

Kefir is a viscous, sour-tasting, slightly alcoholic, milk-based beverage that’s been consumed for centuries. [Read More]

What medicine can learn from squid teeth
What medicine can learn from squid teeth

Many types of squid have razor-sharp teeth. They just are not where you’d expect to find them. Each of the [Read More]

Let the structural symphony begin
Let the structural symphony begin

Like other structural biologists, Eva Nogales works in extraordinary times. The University of California, Berkeley, [Read More]

Inside the lost cave world of the Amazon’s tepui mountains
Inside the lost cave world of the Amazon’s tepui mountains

They are vast towers rising out of the jungles of the Amazon basin. Tepuis, rocky tabletop mountains isolated by [Read More]

The Power of 1
The Power of 1

Kent Haffer remembers when his oncologist approached him with an unusual idea. It was 2013, and Haffer, a 55-year-old [Read More]

Archives