The Bug That Walks On Water
Ever wondered what it would be like to walk on water? We have too. One of the most fascinating bugs (in our opinion) is the water strider. Water striders have the ability to not only walk – but jump on water! The coolest part? Scientists have figured out how to make robots that can do the same thing.
Similar to the real-life water strider, this robot is two-thousandths of an ounce, and the length of its body measures at less than an inch. Now that’s a tiny robot! It can hop and jump on top of water without once sinking or making a splash. How? Researchers from Harvard University and Seoul National University studied every detail of these bugs, and they found that its legs accelerate very slowly, so that they don’t push down on the water. If it accelerated more rapidly, the bugs would break the water’s surface tension. This is just one of the many factors that enables water striders (and their robotic look-alikes) to, quite literally, walk on water.
Water striders communicate to each other by sending ripples on the surface of the water. They have excellent vision, allowing them to spot the prey that they catch with their front legs. But these insects have to watch out, because they may become prey themselves. Water striders are constantly moving to make sure fish don’t come to the surface and catch them!
Six-legged water-walking insects might seem a bit alarming. But don’t worry – these bugs are actually helpful to humans! They help control mosquito populations, and won’t cause any harm. So, next time you see one gliding along, know it’s doing it’s best to keep you bite-free.
Don’t think those water gliders are doing their job to the fullest? Call us today for mosquito control!