Lotus Leaves

Microstructures, coupled with a wax, on the surface of these leaves cause water to ball up rather than stream from the surface. When the balls of water roll, they pick up dirt particles and carry them away. This self-cleans the leaf, so that sunlight can reach all the photosynthetic cells. We are using this and similar microstructures found on reptile scales to produce mud-shedding and water-directing surfaces suitable for cars and Wellington boots.