SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
How a Mosquito Survives a Raindrop Hit
from Science News
A raindrop hitting a mosquito in flight is like a midair collision between a human and a bus. Except that the mosquito survives.
New experiments show how the insect's light weight works in its favor, says engineer David Hu of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. In essence, the (relatively) huge, fast drop doesn't transfer much of its momentum to a little wisp of an insect. Instead the falling droplet sweeps the insect along on the downward plunge. As Hu puts it, the mosquito "just rides the drop."
The trick is breaking away from that drop before it and the insect splash into the ground. Mosquitoes that separate themselves in time easily survive a raindrop strike, Hu and his colleagues report online the week of June 4 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Connect With Us:
PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia."
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.