“Skark skin” Swimsuits Don’t Reduce Drag, But They Do Work
A Harvard professor has some discouraging news for believers in the powers of the “shark skin” swimsuits worn by many competitive swimmers: they don’t work as advertised. Harvard magazine reports that the swimsuits claim to mimic the skin of sharks, which resembles very fine sandpaper due to millions of minuscule toothlike structures, called denticles, on the animal’s skin, which reduce drag and increase swimming speed. The bad news is that the technique works only if you’re a shark. The good news, on the other hand, is that suits do appear to make swimmers go faster, most likely, researchers say, by squeezing the swimmers’ bodies into a more streamlined form. Read more in Harvard magazine.