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pegkowalski

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Does it take two to tango?

Does it take adhesive fzx for a gecko to stick to a ceiling?

The answer to both of the aforementioned questions is - shocker - YES.

Aristotle was the first to question the everlasting ominous phenomenon that I'm sure haunts everyone at night: HOW, if Gecko's have mass (ergo, gravity pulls them downward), HOW we ask, can they POSSIBILY walk on the ceiling?

Incredible! I'm sure you've never really pondered this in your life beacause most people's interaction with geckos is on Geico commercials and the gecko Geico is British and stands on two feet. But believe it or not, this fzx-defying beauty of nature has been baffling scientists for over 2,000 years.

The force of gravity MUST be balanced by another force. There is no other possible way this occurence could...well...occur.

There are many theories. And many experiements. Let's sneak a peek:

Suction Pads

Could the gecko have squid-like suctions pads on its feet? Perhaps. But...when scientists trapped a gecko in a tank and suck all of the air out of it (the fact that the gecko didn't drop dead is what truly baffles me) yet the gecko could STILL walk upon the ceiling!

Glue

Maybe geckos squeeze out a paste that helps them stick to odd places! Nope. After examining a tank geckos had ventured and crawled around in, scientists found no evidence of stickiness or any type of residue for that matter.

Static Electricity

Like a balloon, an electrical force could plausibilty be created that utilizes static, or non-moving, electricity to stick the gecko to the ceiling. But wait: moisture ruins the flow of static electricity. Even in a hot and humid tank, a gecko can still waltz on walls!

"What REALLY happens, Margaret!?"

Well, curious fzx student, I'm glad you asked! Allow me to educate you.

Setae are tiny hairs that cover every geckos feet. Under an electron microscope, each setae is seen like a small brush with hundreds of spatulae, or little bristles at the ends. As a gecko walks along a glass tank, the organic and carbon-based bristles brush up against the silicon dioxide surface. These two materials create electrostraic forces...van der Waal forces...which means...ADSORPTION! (As mentioned in my last blog!)

Then - like balloons - the organic molecules stick to the silicon dioxide ones with every bristle providing a slight upward force to the gecko and against the ceiling/wall. That way, there is more than enough force to balance and exceed that of the gecko's weight.

Iguana tell you more. But I think I'll save it for my next frog post.

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