The Diabolic Beetle

I may have cheated a bit on the title. The ironclad beetle has the formal name ‘Phloeodes diabolicus.’ I thought your eyes might glaze over if I had been that formal with you.

The little fellow can have a car drive over it and still get up and walk away. I was curious as to how it could be so strong. Think ‘ladybug’ A quick squeeze and, well, you know where this is going.

The ironclad beetle, however, has wings like the ladybug but can’t fly. The wings have fused in a fantastic way.

This time, think jigsaw pieces. I can take two pieces and snap them together. Now I try to pull them apart by pulling straight out – no twisting. It is much harder to pull them apart than I thought, even though there is a narrow piece of material holding the pieces together. This is what the seam of the fused ironclad beetle wings are like.

The beetle didn’t want to make it too easy for a predator. All of the wing material is organic. It was grown in place without metal of any kind.

There is more. There are skeleton designs that partially absorb pressure by changing shape slightly.

Interesting, but so what you say.

I will not leave you hanging.

Serious research is underway to see how to apply the wings and other diabolical beetle designs. Instead of rivets holding my plane together at 30,000 feet, the plane pieces may be jigsaw-fused using sheets of nano-carbon. Very strong and very light.

This got me thinking of how life’s smallest and most basic elements can have a profound reach. There are gems of all kinds, not trying to hide from us.

Non-flying beetles might eventually save lives, reduce costs, and help us find ways to use less energy.

When I hear of plans to exploit, mine or otherwise extract natural resources from precious metals on the ocean floor or the side of majestic mountains, I get apprehensive. Not because I know something others don’t, but because I’m confident the extractors don’t know either. Not enough to disrupt what has taken eons to form. The beetle may be very young, but it was eons in the making.

Please give this a bit of a think. What is one strong positive quality you have that everyone could see but most don’t notice? Do you wonder why it has remained hidden? Would there be benefits of highlighting yourself a bit differently in the future?

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of think in the comment section below. It will come to me for approval before posting.

Photo by Adryan RA on Unsplash

If you enjoyed The Blog, please share it with others. Thanks.

And my thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

Volunteer Blogger

2 thoughts on “The Diabolic Beetle

  1. Patti+Dolman says:

    When I think of my hidden strength I think of resilience. The ability to function during stressful situations and remain positive has guided me through life. I think this comes with aging as most of us after 75 have experienced most of the ups and downs in life and we learn how to cope.

    • glenn says:

      One of my intentions with my Blogs is to encourage older adults to share their wisdom, knowledge and experience with the next generation. They can take what is useful and leave the rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *