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It’s summertime, and you’re on vacation. You sit beside a quiet pond, fishing, trying to relax, trying to think about nothing at all. You watch the leaves stirring, the water rippling in the sunshine, and the water bugs standing on the surface of the water. Wait, how are those bugs standing on the surface!? Learn more on this Moment of Science.
Water bugs manage to stand on the surface of a pond, because the pads of their feet resist contact with the water just like wax paper does. This allows the bug to rest on the thin film of surface tension that naturally covers the pond. This surface tension film is caused by the strong attraction the surface water molecules have toward each other, as well as toward the water beneath them. Learn more on this Moment of Science.