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Lotus plants grow in ponds and rivers, which can be very muddy, but their leaves always look clean and shiny. Why is this? God designed the leaves of the lotus plant so that they are covered with tiny hair-like structures that prevent water from reaching the surface of the leaves. When water falls on lotus leaves, droplets quickly form on the surface. Suspended on the tiny structures, the water drops roll off the leaves carrying away any dirt and debris.
Researchers have studied this self-cleaning ability and are mimicking the lotus leaf’s tiny bumps to produce self-cleaning surfaces. Scientists have begun using lasers and other tools to create similar surface structures on windows, buildings, solar panels, and other devices to keep them clean without using chemicals. NASA is studying the lotus leaf to find ways to keep space gear from collecting dust while on the moon or in outer space.