October 5, 2004 | David F. Coppedge

Biomimetics Dept: Wear a Pine Cone

EurekAlert says the British are developing new clothes using pine cone technology.  The fabric automatically adjusts to temperature by opening up or closing down, keeping the wearer comfortable in all environments.  “We’ve drawn upon nature,” said one designer of this “fundamental change in clothing.”

Makes you wonder how a pine cone figured this out.  The film Wonders of God’s Creation Part 1 has an amazing story about the knobcone pine.  It has the hardest cone of any tree, able to withstand the blows of a hammer and teeth of hungry rodents.  It can remain tightly closed for decades.  Only one force in nature is strong enough to crack them open, and that is a forest fire.  The cone opens just slightly during the fire to emit gases that insulate the seeds inside.  Only after the fire has passed will the cone open completely, allowing the seeds, like little one-winged helicopters, to spiral down to the newly-cleared ground.

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Categories: Amazing Facts

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