Last night two geckos were outside clinging to my kitchen window mating. This may be the best gecko porn I have ever photographed! I wondered how they pulled off their gravity-defying feat.
A little research led to the discovery that geckos can stick to surfaces because their bulbous toes are covered in hundreds of microscopic hairs called setae. Each setae branches into even smaller hairs called spatulae.
When the tiny hairs contact a wall, ceiling, or glass surface the van der Waals force kicks in. This physical bond happens when electrons in the molecules of the tiny gecko toe hairs interact with the molecules in the surface, like the glass. They create an electronic attraction. Who knew?
The balance of the forces and the angle of the hairs allow them to scurry across surfaces quickly. So, they really don’t have a sticky substance in their toes, it is all due to the physical forces of nature. Isn’t Physics amazing?
“Have you noticed how nobody ever looks up? Nobody looks at chimneys, or trees against the sky, or the tops of buildings. Everybody just looks down at the pavement or their shoes. The whole world could pass them by and most people wouldn’t notice.” ― Julie Andrews Edwards, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
We just returned from a week’s trip down the Rio San Juan in Nicaragua. It is a 192.06 km river that flows east out of Lake Cocibolca into the Caribbean Sea. What a spectacular river it is! So full of life. But, you have to LOOK UP.
On the Rio Bartola, one of the thousand tributaries of the Rio San Juan, we met another boat. They are all pointing up at something. What could it be? Continue reading →
“Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first.” ― Steve Irwin
The Punta Jesus Maria is a beautiful point of land on Ometepe Island. It entices many tourists where the sweet waters converge and swirl around a long, narrow spit of sand, which extends into Lake Cocibolca. It also entices investors, like the Chinese, who want to build a Tourist Volcano resort at this point for one of their tourism sub-projects.
The entrance to the Punta Jesus Maria spray painted in protest of the Chinese.