Basically, glue. Some animals produce extremely sticky substances naturally. For instance, spiders lay droplets of glue on the silk of their webs to catch and trap insects coming in contact with it, and geckos can also adhere to almost surfaces without leaving a trace. Adult barnacles and mussels can also attach very strongly to surfaces, even underwater, some even permanently adhering – added bonus: barnacles can also seal themselves in water to keep from dessicating, which would be very useful for human inventions (think plumbing for example).
While plant-based and animal-based glue has been used for millennia (the oldest evidence of plant-based adhesive use dates back 200,000 years), the first completely synthetic commercial glue is less than a hundred years old: Karlsons Klister (also known as Elmer's glue), launched in the 1920s. A biodegradable glue that attaches to any surface even in wet environments would also be an incredibly useful surgical tool to avoid using sutures. And if you've ever had to call the plumber at three in the morning, you'll know first hand that we still have some things to learn about creating water-tight seals!
By Marion Thibaudeau Frontier is an international non-profit volunteering NGO. Frontier has over 300 dedicated conservation and community development projects as well as plenty of inspiring gap year ideas to help make your time out meaningful. For more information on all the opportunities available please visit www.frontier.ac.uk. Check out Frontier's blog ‘Into the Wild' where you can read more articles like this! Happy reading! Get more from us on social media with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. See more from volunteers on YouTube, Flickr and Instagram #FrontierVolunteer.