An astonishing new discovery about ladybugs could lead to tremendous breakthroughs in aeronautics and other industries.
Scientists have just made a mind-blowing discovery about the ladybug that could lead to huge breakthroughs in everything from aeronautics to umbrellas. Through an intricate study involving high-speed cameras, CT scanners, and nail art supplies, they think they’ve figured out how a ladybug folds its huge wings back up into its body, plotting out each intricate fold and movement by the bug.
Japanese scientists replaced their signature red and black wing cases with a transparent artificial one so they could see what was happening underneath when the bug folds up its huge wings relative to its body. They’e mapped out the entire process and published those findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
By taking CT scans of both the folded and unfolded wings, they were able to create a pattern of the folds in a way that is very similar to folding origami, and in fact they even demonstrated it with origami.
“Japanese scientists have figured out how ladybugs fold their wings by transplanting a transparent artificial wing onto the insect and observing its underlying folding mechanism,” reads the statement from the University of Tokyo. “The study’s findings, which help explain how the wings can maintain their strength and rigidity during flight, while becoming elastic for compact folding and storage on the ground, provide hints for the innovative design of a wide range of deployable structures, from satellite antennas to microscopic medical instruments to articles for daily use like umbrellas and fans.
“Ladybugs are highly mobile insects that can switch between walking and flying with ease and speed because they can quickly deploy and collapse their wings. Their wings consist of the hardened elytra, the forewings with the familiar spots, and the soft-membrane hindwings used for flight, which are covered and protected by the elytra.”