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These insects are touring a sunken flower city

Illustration for article titled These insects are touring a sunken flower city

This amazing image of a daisy shows the blossom, and a group of dry insects, below the water level. It's a striking image of the power of surface tension.


This photograph, which looks like a daisy going to warp drive, is actually a flower caught in a rising puddle. The water level rose around the blossom slowly enough that it lifted the petals. The multiple layers of the petals are thick enough to keep the water from leaking through - to what must be the great relief of the insects inside.

Another force is at work. The water molecules are more attracted to each other than the daisy petals. They pull into a kind of upwards slope all around the tips of the petals, so the entire flower is under the water level, but not submerged.


Image: William Connolley

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A mesmerizing photo* and a beautifully succinct write-up that showcases the interface between science and wonder. *Plus, now I want to be the size of an ant and go for a ride in a flower cup boat!