Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Cat Has the Surface Area of a Ping Pong Table

A paper from the deep thinkers at the Georgia Institute of Technology tells us that a cat has the same surface area as a ping pong table:

Researchers have combed through more than two dozen studies and taken surface measurements of 27 mammals and insects to better understand how animals are able to clean themselves...

...The research team focused on the many ways hair allows animals to both get dirty and remain dirt-free. The researchers found that a honeybee has the same number of hairs as a squirrel: 3 million. That’s nothing compared to butterflies and moths—each has nearly 10 billion hairs. The human head, as a comparison, has just 100,000...

...Hu and mechanical engineering PhD student Guillermo Amador ran calculations to find the true surface area of animals, or the surface area that includes every location where dirt can be collected. The hairier it is, the larger the creature’s true surface area. In fact, the team says it’s 100 times greater than its skin surface area.

“A honeybee’s true surface area is the size of a piece of toast,” says Hu. “A cat’s is the size of a ping pong table. A sea otter has as much area as a professional hockey rink.”

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