Why Walk on Water When You Can Jump on It?

How water striders do it.

Using high-speed video to analyze a water strider’s jump, a Seoul National University team found the insect draws its larger legs inward as it pushes down on the water surface with just enough force to propel itself upward without breaking the water’s surface tension. No break in surface tension means no splash, which gives the water strider a nice stable platform from which to leap. To prove this, they built a robotic counterpart that operates under the same principles. Watch it in the video above.