In Tight Spaces, Sperm Slither Rather Than Shimmy

Sperm usually swim in a 3D shimmy: a spiral wave travels down the whippy flagellum and rotates its head in a circle around its long axis. That “bulk swimming” is fine most of the time, but it isn’t a great option when a sperm cell gets close to a surface. That’s when they switch to “slither” mode. »11/17/15 12:30pm11/17/15 12:30pm

Lampreys Could Hold the Key to Better Underwater Robots

The lamprey—a jawless, toothy suction funnel that looks like it sprung to life out of the Alien storyboards—is the sort of creature whose existence most of us would prefer not to dwell on. But lampreys are among the most efficient swimmers on Earth, and their unusual stroke could help engineers design low-cost… »11/03/15 5:00pm11/03/15 5:00pm

Behold the Beauty of This Bouncing Blob of Liquid Loveliness on the Space Station

Astronauts on the International Space Station have stepped up the entertainment factor of their fluid dynamics antics. They’ve added food colouring to the already-excellent combination of zero gravity, water droplet, and antacid tablet, creating a sparkly disco ball of pure joy. »10/09/15 4:15pm10/09/15 4:15pm

Afternoon Hypnosis: Watch These Droplets Coalesce and Break at Terminal Velocity

It’s (relatively) easy to get water droplets to move at terminal velocity. They don’t even have to be moving relative to you. Just get air flowing upwards fast enough, and the water will hover, without increasing its speed up or down. Then throw more water drops at it, and see what happens. »8/31/15 7:00pm8/31/15 7:00pm