- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Incredible skin helps springtails to keep dry underwater and always stay clean
These small studs, arranged in grids and honeycombs, look completely unnatural. If the image was life-sized, you might think that they’re part of a bizarre children’s toy. If they had been photographed from far away, they might be buildings in an alien city. But they are neither. They have been intensely magnified; a thousand of them could fit across a human hair. They studs are part of the skin of a tiny insect-like creature called a springtail. They’re the secret behind its incredible waterproof shell.
There are more than 7,000 species of springtail, and they’re among the most abundant animals that you can still see with the naked eye. Most are no bigger than a pinhead. They crawl through soil