A mosquito among water droplets. Thanks to their low mass, mosquitoes can survive hits from droplets 50 times their own weight.
Being hit by a drop on a solid surface is fatal for mosquitoes.
In midair, drops don't splash on mosquitoes. Instead, the mosquitoes tumble along with the droplets, eventually disengaging and flying away unharmed.
Droplets transfer only 10 percent of their force onto a flying mosquito.
Raindrops Falling On My Head
Most likely, mosquitoes try to seek shelter during rainstorms, according to study researcher David Hu.
Mosquitoes' ability to survive may inspire designs for insect-sized flying robotics.
A mosquito braces for the moment of impact.
As long as mosquitoes fly high enough so they can detach from a falling drop before hitting the ground, they easily survive being hit.
Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor
Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science. She covers the world of human and animal behavior, as well as paleontology and other science topics. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has ducked under a glacier in Switzerland and poked hot lava with a stick in Hawaii. Stephanie hails from East Tennessee, the global center for salamander diversity. Follow Stephanie on Google+.