Velcro, waterproof glue and turbine blades are just a small sampling of what has been inspired by nature. The possibilities are also applicable to the open water swimming world.
While the triathlon community and its researchers have determined that drafting directly behind the feet is the optimal way to draft in the open water, Open Water Source and a few other open water swimming coaches are looking at nature for hints, specifically the flocking behavior of birds, the positioning of fish in a school and the way a dolphin swims alongside a boat, for inspiration on how humans can best draft and race in the open water. Based on their studies that admittedly need further research in (near) real-world conditions, they believe that drafting between the hips and feet is optimal during many competitive situations.
The aim of these coaches is to study the natural processes as a starting point, gain insights, adapt where possible with humans so their athletes' performance.
The skin of hippopotamus secretes a natural sunscreen substance which is red-colored, sometimes referred to as blood sweat, but is neither blood nor sweat. This secretion is initially colorless and turns red-orange within minutes, eventually becoming brown.
Two distinct pigments have been identified in the secretions, one red (hipposudoric acid) and one orange (norhipposudoric acid). The two pigments are highly acidic compounds whose light absorption peaks in the ultraviolet range, creating a sunscreen effect.
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