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7 amazing examples of biomimicry

By: Shea Gunther on Feb. 8, 2010, 2:30 p.m.
Lotus = paint

Photo: Lotus: Jensen Chua/Flickr; house: Laertes/Flickr

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Lotus = Paint

The lotus flower is sort of like the sharkskin of dry land. The flower's micro-rough surface naturally repels dust and dirt particles, keeping its petals sparkling clean. If you've ever looked at a lotus leaf under a microscope, you've seen a sea of tiny nail-like protuberances that can fend off specks of dust. When water rolls over a lotus leaf, it collects anything on the surface, leaving a clean and healthy leaf behind.


A German company, Ispo, spent four years researching this phenomenon and has developed a paint with similar properties. The micro-rough surface of the paint pushes away dust and dirt, diminishing the need to wash the outside of a house.