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The cleanliness of the Lotus

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The Lotus plant is revered by Buddhists for its purity, at least in part because it stays clean even though it lives in muddy water. The plant uses a superhydrophobic surface to ensure that droplets of water roll off its leaves and carry with them particles from the dirty water. The waxy, bumpy surface can be seen using a scanning electron microscope (click here to view). This enables the leaves to float and to photosynthesise. The Lotus is one of the more spectacular plants and superhydrophobicity with self-cleaning is also called the Lotus-Effect® (trademark). Read more about the Lotus effect in the publication below.


W. Barthlott and C. Neinhuis,
The purity of sacred lotus or escape from contamination in biological surfaces,
Planta 202 (1997) 1-8.