Giraffes and NASA
Giraffes are peculiar and fascinating creatures, with their gangly legs, enormously long necks and reddish jigsaw patches—but there’s more to their patches than meets the eye. It’s common knowledge that they act as camouflage, breaking up a large shape to something less easily recognisable, but they’re also heat regulators. Each patch is surrounded by a large blood vessel that fills the patch with a sophisticated network of smaller blood vessels, acting as a heating and cooling mechanism that helps a giraffe maintain body temperature. In fact, their circulatory system is such a desirable product of evolution that it has been studied by NASA to aid in the construction of spacesuits. Now for the intensely cool part—if you take an infrared image of a giraffe, you’ll still be able to see the trademark patches.