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Still Waters

How to get fresh water out of thin air

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In some of this planet’s driest regions, where rainfall is rare or even nonexistent, a few specialized plants and insects have devised ingenious strategies to provide themselves with the water necessary for life: They pull it right out of the air, from fog that drifts in from warm oceans nearby.

Now researchers at MIT, working in collaboration with colleagues in Chile, are seeking to mimic that trick on a much larger scale, potentially supplying significant quantities of clean, potable water in places where there are few alternatives.

http://web.mit.edu/p...f-thin-air.html

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Wow, that's pretty cool. Just leave enough for the plants and animals, please...

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Mealworms, common feeders found in many animal hobbies are in the same family as those Namib desert beetles. The family is found all kinds of desert and desert like settings, I wonder if any other species have the trick coating?

There are desert roaches in the USA (genus Arenivaga) and in other parts of the world (genus Polyphagia) that have organ things in their mouth that let them extract and drink water from the air. I caught a local species (maybe Arenivaga investigata, i never did ID it) and was rehydrating it (in very dry times it dramatically increases captives survival rate to keep them in a little box with a moist paper towel for a couple days after you catch them). Well, it appears they can't turn their water extractors off... when I checked on it after a couple days the poor thing was dead and looked like a full water balloon. Shame, too, it was the only mature female I ever found.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_cockroach

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All I need is a sponge to wipe my car (poor thing has to sleep outdoors) over each morning, for about a litre - humid climate, cold metal and glass...

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