Human technologies inspired by nature

Whale fin wind-turbine After studying this “tubercle effect”, Fish discovered that adding rows of bumps to turbine blades reduced drag and noise, and increased their efficiency.

Termites construct their mounds with a passive cooling system using a series of vents along the top and sides.

Gecko skin The secret to geckos’ gravity defying grip turns out to be the rows of tiny hairs, called setae, on its toes.

Construction equipment Woodpeckers knock on the hard surface of trees to forage for food, build nests and attract a mate. 

Building design The zig-zag shape of these corrugations strengthens the shell’s structure, enabling it to withstand high pressure under water.

Bullet train kingfisher A bullet train emerging from a tunnel generates a tremendous thunderclap due to the air-pressure which builds up in front of the nose.

Shark skin Inspired by the microscopic scales on shark-skin, NASA scientists developed a drag-reducing coating for ships.

Velcro replicates this by using a strip lined with hooks together with a fabric strip.

Danakil Desert: It may look like another planet, but the Danakil Desert is actually in Ethiopia, with parts in Eritrea and Djibouti.

Transport aerodynamics Sharks have two dorsal fins which provide several aerodynamic advantages.

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