FOG – BASKING BEETLE
Africa’s Namib Desert is one of the driest habitats present on the planet earth. In this Desert, the living conditions are challenging and yet some species strive to sustain. One such kind is Namib Desert’s beetle otherwise called the fog-basking beetle.
In such hostile situations, fog-basking beetle is lucky enough to survive. All thanks to its water harvesting morphology. In the morning times, a group of beetles reaches the top of sand dunes. Its shell, which is a combination of hydrophilic (moisture attractors) and hydrophobic (moisture repellent) materials, does the work. On the top of sand dunes beetle almost stand on its head (similar to a handstand). The hydrophilic material on the shell attracts moisture which leads to the accumulation of humidity on its abdomen. The humidity slowly starts to condense and eventually water flows through a hydrophobic path and into the mouth of the beetle due to gravity.
From the inspiration of this beetle, NBD Nano a startup of graduates from organic chemistry and engineering is trying to design and develop the water bottle which fills itself. The bottle structure has a similar texture to that of beetle, and it is also a combination of hydrophilic and hydrophobic materials.
Similar technology is implemented in fog-collecting nets to increase the effectiveness of the nets in arid environs.
In the near future, we are going to get rid of this monotonous task of filling water bottles.