A good dose of nature can still soothe the psyche of the modern human, but sometimes nature, red in tooth and claw, can also just gross you out. Wasps turn helpless caterpillars into a 24x7 buffet for young ones, mama mantis snacks on the head of its former lover, and a frog gives new meaning to oral fixation when nurturing the kiddies.
Go ahead and judge. These creatures don't care whether they win marks for beauty by human standards -- anything goes when survival and reproduction are at stake. They compete to not win any Darwin Awards.
Perhaps it's time for us humans to reassess our thinking, rather than let an aesthetic sense blind us to natural forms and functions that work well. Maggots writhing in a wound can disgust, sure, but saving a limb without risking an attack by antibiotic-resistant bacteria? That's beautiful. Check out the following contenders to see if you agree.single page
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.