Geckos Shed Water Droplets Through a Novel Mechanism That Resembles Popping Popcorn

New Scientist reports that researchers at University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia have discovered that geckos shed water from their skin through a novel mechanism in which water launches off their bodies like popping popcorn. “Geckovescence,” as the mechanism is known, is caused by spinules, microscopic hair-like structures on the gecko’s skin. As water collects on the gecko, the spinules help arrange the water into clumps. Energy changes during the clumping process cause the droplets to flick off the gecko’s skin, hence the popcorn-like effect.