HOW DO YOU FLY THROUGH A WATERFALL?
Hummingbirds are among the world’s most talented aerial acrobats, so it’s no surprise that they can fly through a waterfall unscathed. But a team of researchers at Kennesaw State University wanted to know how they do it, so they built an artificial waterfall—with a perch on one side and a hummingbird feeder on the other—and released a number of Anna’s hummingbirds (Calypte anna) to try their luck. Surprisingly, the tiny birds do not speed up, fold their wings, and simply shoot through the waterfall head-on. Instead they enter the water sideways, parting it with one wing while the other wing continues to generate thrust. To see how other tiny fliers fared against a waterfall, the researchers also tested house flies, green bottle flies, and fruit flies. While the fruit flies met with instant death, most of the others just made it through the waterfall before immediately crashing.