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Namib Desert beetle

Namib Desert beetle

The Namib Desert beetle dwells in one of the most arid areas with only one and half inch (40 mm) of rain per year, and has developed a unique technique to survive by obtaining water from early morning fogs. It drinks by the means of its own bumpy back surface, which provides for accumulation of water droplets of fifteen to twenty micrometers in diameter.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have emulated this capability by creating a textured surface that combines alternating hydrophobic and hydrophilic materials. Potential uses include extracting moisture from the air and creating fog-free windows and mirrors.

References

  • Parker, A. R. & C. R. Lawrence (2001). "Water capture by a desert beetle". Nature 414 33–34.
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