Geckos cling to walls us­ing static elec­tric­ity

World of Animals - - 10 Animals That Use Electricity -

It’s long been thought that geckos are able to climb ver­ti­cal walls due to a phe­nom­e­non known as van der Waals forces, which in­volves in­ter­molec­u­lar in­ter­ac­tions be­tween hairs on the lizard’s feet and the sur­face it’s walk­ing on.

How­ever, in re­cent years some sci­en­tists have be­gun to ques­tion this the­ory, in­stead posit­ing that the gecko’s spi­der-like abil­i­ties are ac­tu­ally caused by static elec­tric­ity. Con­tact elec­tri­fi­ca­tion could be at play: this would mean that when the gecko’s toe pads are stuck to the wall, they be­come pos­i­tively charged with elec­tric­ity, while the wall’s sur­face be­comes neg­a­tively charged, keep­ing the rep­tile stuck to it.

The only sur­face a gecko can’t stick to is Te­flon. How­ever, if wa­ter is ap­plied then geckos can ad­here to it

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