1. Plastic from bees
Australia hosts a lot of frightening animals, but one of its creatures may actually be very helpful: the masked bee. This bee, Hylaeus nubilosus, makes its nests out of a very particular material that acts like cellophane. The material is waterproof and fire resistant, but not toxic.
A New Zealand company, Humble Bee, wants to synthetically make this material as a substitute for plastic. But this isn’t the only time scientists saw nature do something amazing and decided to try and emulate it with new technology. Some old inventions that seem quite standard now were actually inspired by nature, but the inspiration continues for new technologies today.