How do dandelions spread their seeds?

How are dandelion seeds able to travel distances of over 150km across oceans, with only small feathery bristles and the power of the wind? According to research by Cathal Cummins at the University of Edinburgh, the answer can be found in the fluid dynamics of the air flow around the plants ‘micro-parachute’, and in the future it could lead to improved flight for miniaturised vehicles such as drones.

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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