How do Stinging Nettles Inject Poison?

The leaves of stinging nettles are covered in ‘pipette-like’ stingers which penetrate the skin on contact and deposit a small amount of poison. The ‘pipette-like’ design means that almost all of the poison contained in the stinger can be injected at once if sufficient force is applied to bend the stinger to an angle of 90 degrees. This is demonstrated in laboratory experiments conducted by Kaare Jensen at the Technical University of Denmark.

This video is part of a collaboration between FYFD and the Journal of Fluid Mechanics featuring a series of interviews with researchers from the APS DFD 2017 conference.

Sponsored by FYFD, the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, and the UK Fluids Network. Produced by Tom Crawford and Nicole Sharp with assistance from A.J. Fillo.

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