Nature's raincoat in monochrome
Updated: Nov 4, 2019
In Nature, keeping dry is sometimes a matter of life and death. A flying insect can literally drown if engulfed by falling raindrops. To avoid this, the wings of a Morpho butterfly are precisely sculpted, with highly ordered micro- and nano- structures on their scales, to trap an air layer and repel water. Droplets of water will ball up on the wings into fakir droplets and will roll off even with the tiniest flick.
The highly-ordered nanostructures also give the wings of a morpho butterfly a brilliant blue colour, which does not fade with time unlike typical colour pigments
Learning from examples in Nature will allow scientists to make better raincoats, more brilliant paint, and new material that will transform our future.
"Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly,
or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man"