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Gallery: Drop-Dodging Mosquitoes

Drop-Dodging Mosquito

A mosquito and water droplets.

(Image credit: Hu Laboratory for Biolocomotion, Georgia Tech)

A mosquito among water droplets. Thanks to their low mass, mosquitoes can survive hits from droplets 50 times their own weight.

Crushing Blow

Mosquito and a falling water drop.

(Image credit: Hu Laboratory for Biolocomotion, Georgia Tech)

Being hit by a drop on a solid surface is fatal for mosquitoes.

MIdair Collisions

Mosquito and a falling water drop.

(Image credit: Hu Laboratory for Biolocomotion, Georgia Tech)

In midair, drops don't splash on mosquitoes. Instead, the mosquitoes tumble along with the droplets, eventually disengaging and flying away unharmed.

Water Drops

Mosquito and a falling water drop.

(Image credit: Hu Laboratory for Biolocomotion, Georgia Tech)

Droplets transfer only 10 percent of their force onto a flying mosquito.

Raindrops Falling On My Head

Mosquito and a falling water drop.

(Image credit: Hu Laboratory for Biolocomotion, Georgia Tech)

Most likely, mosquitoes try to seek shelter during rainstorms, according to study researcher David Hu.

Falling Water

Mosquito and a falling water drop.

(Image credit: Hu Laboratory for Biolocomotion, Georgia Tech)

Mosquitoes' ability to survive may inspire designs for insect-sized flying robotics.

Balancing Act

Mosquito and a falling water drop.

(Image credit: Hu Laboratory for Biolocomotion, Georgia Tech)

A mosquito braces for the moment of impact.

Mosquito Free-Fall

Mosquito and a falling water drop.

(Image credit: Hu Laboratory for Biolocomotion, Georgia Tech)

As long as mosquitoes fly high enough so they can detach from a falling drop before hitting the ground, they easily survive being hit.