Body painting protects against insect bites

Body painting protects against insect bites

Scientists from Sweden and Hungary have proven that white stripes painted on the body protect the skin from insect bites. Body painting may partially protect against the risk of transmitting dangerous disease pathogens.

Most indigenous communities, które customarily paint their bodies, lives in areas where there are a lot of insectsóin blood-feeding insects such as mosquitoes and tse tse flies. Moreover, these insects can carry dangerous bacteria and parasites.

Research has proven that the painted body protects people from insects. In experiments, a brown plastic dummy attracted 10 times more flies than a model painted with white stripes.

Prof. Susanne Åkesson from the department of biology at Lund University admitted that the habit of bodypainting developed independently on all continents. – Body painting was known long before humans invented clothing. We find archaeological evidence that even Neanderthals painted their bodies using natural dyesów, ochre,” said Åkesson.

syndromeó³ scientistów has already noted that the zebra’s coloration provides great protection against mosquitoes. It is also known that the paler the fur, the fewer insect bitesów on animals. Thanks to this discovery, the teamół won the Ig Nobel Prize, also known as the Antinoble Prize, in 2016.

Ig Nobels are awarded for research thatóre seem so absurd that they can only elicit laughter, but once the hilarity passes, they make you think and carry scientific value. The satirical nature of the nagród is intended not only to make people laugh, but also to make them think and popularize science by showing the funny side of the researcher’s work.

In their experiment conducted in Hungary, the researchers enlisted the help of three mannequinsów. They painted one brown, the second also gained a brown color, but in addition the researchers painted white stripes on it, the third was beige. The plastic dummies were then covered with a thin layer of insect glue.

It turned out that the most insectóin stuck to a dark dummy. There were ten times as many as on the striped model. Beige dummy rów also attracted more insectów. There were twice as many of them as on the "striped" model.

– These results are consistent with previous experiments in whichórych we showed that male insectsów prefer to land on surfaces, które reflected horizontal, linear polarized light, such as reflections from the surface of water. Females, whichóre biting and sucking blood, they respond to the same signals as males, but also to light signals from the vertical plane, such as standing models – concluded Åkesson.

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