For the past several months, we've been showing visitors to the Monterey Bay Aquarium how engineers and designers have taken inspiration from nature to design everything from energy-efficient cars to more efficient wind turbine blades. "Whales to Windmills" is hugely popular, and drawing attention beyond our walls.
The Los Angeles Times just published an interview with Caltech professor, and MacArthur "genius grant" recipient, John Dabiri, who thinks jellyfish have a lot to teach us about engineering -- with potential applications for designers who want to improve the efficiency of wind and wave technology.
As simple as jellies appear to be, he says, they're actually sophisticated masters of fluid dynamics. And the way they produce a vortex when moving could help engineers figure out ways to pack turbines more closely together on wind farms, with no loss of energy production.
Something to ponder on your next visit, when you're watching jellies pulse and glide in our Drifters gallery.