What on earth is a Philippine snout weevil, and what does it have to do with Christian worldview?
It’s no exaggeration to say that if it weren’t for the amazing design found in nature, much of the best of our modern technologies wouldn’t exist. Digital Trends documents a whole collection of examples, from bullet trains that mimic the beaks of kingfisher birds, to high-rises that copy the ventilation systems of termite mounds. I’m not kidding. The film “Incredible Creatures that Define Design” by my friend Steve Greisen, talks about what’s called “biomimicry.”
And yet, despite all of our technological achievements, we’re not even close to exhausting the riches of engineering and artistry available in nature. One of the most eye-catching examples to emerge in recent months is a tiny insect—a species of beetle known as the Philippine snout weevil.
Full disclosure: I’d never heard of this creature until our BreakPoint editor decided he would enjoy hearing me say “Philippine snout weevil” on the air. But it’s worth it.
A recent report in WORLD magazine revealed this miniature marvel’s true colors. Literally. You see, this beetle has a series of rainbow spots on its wing casings that do something very rare in nature: They maintain the same color no matter which angle you view them from. This has scientists fascinated, not only is this so-called “high-fidelity” color rare in nature, it’s nonexistent in human technology. Not a smart phone, laptop, tablet, or HD TV in existence can successfully produce colors that remain true, no matter how you look at them.
The website Optics and Photonics reported on the joint research by a Singaporean-Swiss team who discovered just how the weevil accomplishes this dazzling feat.
Each spot on its wing casings forms concentric circles of color which cover the full visible spectrum from blue to red, in the same order as a rainbow. But unlike most hues in nature, which are generated using pigments, the snout weevil’s brilliant design comes from what scientists call “structural color.”
Like the wings of the much more famous blue morpho butterfly, the weevil’s spots have a gleaming, metallic quality. This is because their color comes from tiny, crystalline structures made of chitin that split sunlight like a prism.
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Source: Christian Headlines