The hidden wings of the common earwig unfold to ten times their folded size, transforming the mostly ground-dwelling insect into a super-efficient flyer.
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This is an earwig, a ground-dwelling insect with an extraordinary ability. Though it doesn’t often fly, it’s equipped with origami-like wings. The rear wings are remarkably compact when folded under the small, leathery forewings. When they open, the wings are ten times larger than the folded size. The open wings lock into place and remain stable—without the use of muscle power. An elastic, spring-like wing joint allows this stability. Researchers are attempting to replicate the earwig wing folds. The complex folds and efficient mechanics could have many applications, including folded tents, maps, and foldable electronics.
Read more in "An Ode to Earwig Wings, Which Break Standard Laws of Origami"
Earwig Wings are Origami-Like | National Geographic https://youtu.be/Q4NiF3w101Q