Insects can walk on water because of a phenomenon called surface tension. This is essentially a property of water (or any liquid) which allows it to resist an external force. Water molecules form bonds between other molecules – and the molecules which have aired on one side will form a much stronger bond than the molecules without. Since insects are small and do not have enough force to break through, they can technically walk on water. One of the best examples of this phenomenon is seen in insects called water striders.
Insects are very small, in fact, they are so small that even falling from a 10-storey building poses no risk of injury. However, there are many other dangers that an insect has to face – such as being crushed, eaten or predated. Besides these dangers, surface tension can also be the difference between life and death. Water tends to behave like quicksand for the insects. This causes the insect to be trapped within the water bubble and die by drowning. Even if an insect were to swim to the surface, its body is not strong to push itself out of the bubble.
To overcome this, some insects have a coating made of keratin, which allows the water to just slide off. Hence, even if it rains, the raindrops would just land on the insect’s surface and just roll off.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Insects Walk on Water
How do Insects Walk on Water?
Insects can walk on water because of a phenomenon called surface tension. This is essentially a property of water (or any liquid) which allows it to resist an external force.