After closely studying the biomechanics of cats, dogs, and jellyfish, engineers are turning their attention to more bothersome critters: fire ants.


Engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology examined the notoriously feisty ants more closely and discovered that the hairy surface of their rough skin makes it difficult for water to penetrate, much as duck feathers repel water because of their tiny bumps. Their work could lead to the development of new and better waterproof materials.


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Since catching a ride on the Virgin Oceanic sub is out of the question, a good alternative might be trying the new and somewhat hilarious-looking Aqua Star underwater scooter.  

The AS1 is a one-person underwater vehicle that can cruise at up to 4 mph as riders take in marine vistas.

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2011 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

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