Why rain doesn’t kill butterflies

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from Cornell University found out why the fragile wings of butterflies are not damaged in the rain. It turned out that the drops do not cause harm due to the special structures in the wings. A research article is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In nature, drops fall at a speed of up to ten meters per second, whose blow for a butterfly should be equivalent to hitting a bowling ball for a person.

Biologists led by Kim Sung-Ho found out how drops interact with superhydrophobic biological surfaces, including butterfly wings. The whole process was shot on a high-speed camera, which recorded video at a speed of about a thousand frames per second.

When falling, the drop hits the hydrophobic layer of the wax-like coating, spreads over the surface and breaks up into many nanoscale irregularities that cover the wing. According to scientists, this can be compared with the fall of a balloon on sharp needles.

The destructive effect of irregularities and chipping reduces the amount of time during which the drop contacts the surface, limits the momentum and reduces the force of impact on the wing. This protection and hydrophobic wax layer also reduces heat transfer, which allows butterflies to be more mobile.

Previously reported that scientists found rhinoceros dragons that have not been seen for more than a hundred years.


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