Men must be well aware of the problem when urine from urinals splashback and drops on the floor. This has been really gross but without solution. Now a desert moss has been discovered that will hopefully resolve this perennial problem of urine splashback. This desert moss, during a research study, showed how it uses its leaves rather than roots, to absorb water.
The name of the plant is Syntrichia caninervis. It’s a moss that grows in dry arid regions of deserts and are usually found in the dry environments in the Northern hemisphere, from Utah and California to Europe and China. Researches have been carried on with this plant to find out how they survive with such scarce amount of water. The leaves of these plants moss have tiny hairs, or awns at the tip of their leaved, ranging in length between 0.02 to 0.08 inches long. These awns are naturally equipped with certain abilities to collect air from different sources. The sources can range from fog to heavy rain.
The research is being carried out under the guidance of Dr. Tadd Truscott, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Utah State University.
“Using these different structures, this plant might get a drink every day, where other desert vegetation gets water maybe once a week,” said Truscott. Back splashing of urine in public lavatories has been a matter of concern but now it seems that the moss can be used to develop a urinal pad that will avoid splashing.
The research can have practical applications, Truscott says. For years, his team has looked into ways of reducing splashing in places like public restrooms, where pee splashes back from urinals onto the floor. Truscott now wants to use the the moss’ anti-splash properties to develop a new urinal pad that avoids the disgusting splashback.
Apart from solving a major bathroom problem, other application including replicating the plant’s ability to collect water vapor, scientists could develop a way of extracting moisture from humid environments.