Northern Borneo is home to Nepenthes rafflesiana, a pitcher plant that testifies to an intelligent Creator. This carnivorous plant lives in nutrient poor soil, attracting insects to nectar along its pitcher rim, and then digesting any insects that fall into the amazing digestive fluid inside its pitcher.
While flies and ants can easily escape from water, if they begin to struggle they cannot escape from this fluid. The fluid is shear-thinning; i.e., the more an insect struggles and “shears” through the fluid, the more the viscosity decreases, making it hard to stay afloat. This complex fluid also has high extensional viscosity. This means that as an insect moves, the fluid actually stretches, forming sticky filaments that hold it in the fluid and prevent escape.
In fact, at the typical rate of insect motion during struggling, the extensional viscosity is about 10,000 times greater than its shear viscosity. Insects typically panic if they fall into this fluid and exhibit quick movements, making escape impossible. Their only chance of survival would be to move slowly. Furthermore, the digestive fluid of this plant retains high extensional viscosity even when rain water dilutes the fluid by up to 95%, which is important in its high-rainfall environment….
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