You know we here at Mosquito Squad love a good story or study on mosquitoes, and recently an engineer studied what happens to mosquitoes when they are hit by rain drops. So why did David Hu of the Georgia Institute of Technology want to know how mosquitoes could survive being hit by raindrops? To build robots of course! I’m not joking; Hu’s findings could help in the creation of mosquito-sized robots which could be used for military surveillance.
Mosquitoes have been flying around and bothering animals (and humans) for millions of years and we know that they do incredibly well in areas that get a lot of rain. According to USA today, a raindrop can weigh 50 times more than a mosquito, so how does it survive when hit in mid-flight (that’s worse than a 150lb person being hit by a loaded F-150 truck at 30 mph)? To answer that question, Hu and his team filmed caged mosquitoes with a high-speed camera as they were hit with droplets from a water jet. So, what did they find?
In short: Mosquitoes win!
“The mosquito’s low mass causes raindrops to lose little momentum upon impact and so impart correspondingly low forces to the mosquitoes,” says Hu. “If you were to scale up the impact to human size, we would not survive…They ride the drop, then reduce the force.”
To better understand the findings of this study, check out this video that shows some of the footage at slow motion from Hu’s study.