Humans arent called apes or the descendants of apes for no reason (Ah! Remember the theory of evolution?). And it’s the inherent nature of survival to learn, adapt & change - by closely observing how things around us function, that we as a species on this planet, keep finding answers to our challenges in nature.
Copying. Inspired. Aping.
We do it - for whatever reasons, we do it. We ape everything, right from birth, else we wouldn’t even know how to walk upright. Remember how Mowgli or Tarzan learnt the art of survival & for a good time had their postures & movements like one would in the wild when they hadn’t seen or even known another of their kind exists.
We ape. Animals & birds ape too.
However, our capacities & potential to identify solutions for our challenges appears to be far faster & integrated than any other species on the planet, and thats the sole reason we are able to learn & draw inspiration from nature to create unbelievable designs & products.
Some of the most basic inventions find their designs inspired from nature. Here are a few examples of how products have been designed & engineered purely based on an aspect or element of nature.
1. The Aeroplane - ah, we all know it. Don’t we? Inspired by the flight of birds.
2. The Bullet Trains - inspired by the beaks & aerodynamics of birds
3. The Velcro - inspired by the burrs of burrock (a type of weed plant)
4. Buildings - inspired by how termites build their ventilated homes
5. The Night Camera - inspired by the cat eye that reflects light in the night
6. The Sonar - inspired by dolphins’ ways to communicate
7. Suction Cups - inspired by the octopus that can grip almost anything
8. Flippers - inspired by the ducks’ web feet, remember deep sea diving?
9. Professional Swimming Suits - inspired by the sharks skin.
And coming to the title that sits alongside the ape above Bio mimicry. In simpler terms, the process of designing and inspiring solutions by purely imitating nature and living things is termed as bio mimicry. While here we've listed a very small number of visible & popular products, the spectrum of bio mimicry extends across various other fields including medicines, astronomic, etc.
Basically, it comes with an understanding that nature has already solved a number of challenges and we only need to have an insight to pick those lessons for ourselves, for human activities. The foundational beauty of bio mimicry is that nature naturally performs on the principles of economy and efficiency, with no wastage - well, talk of sustainability being a living example!
So, have you found any examples of bio mimicry around you? Do you imitate or try to learn from what nature has to constantly offer? Take a break and sit in the heart of nature, survival there comes with sustainability.
And yes, as much as we humans like taking credit for our designs & creations, whether we agree or not, everything, absolutely everything we create, in its pious form, is inspired by nature.
Photo Credits: David Gonzales, Jimmy Chan, Celil Dogan, Elianne Dipp, Kafeel Ahmed, Vladislav Vasnetsov, Elle Burgin, Yuki, Tom Swinnen, Gandhar Thakur