Earthquake resistant coconut shells reported in ScienceDaily 5 July 2016. Coconuts are the seeds of coconut palms. When the seed is ripe it falls from the tree onto the ground. As some coconut palms grow to 30 metres (100 ft) in height, a falling coconut can hit the ground (or an unlucky tourist’s head) with considerable force. In spite of this, coconuts do not break open on impact.

Scientists in the Plant Biomechanics Group in Freiburg are working with civil engineers and material scientists to investigate how the structure of the coconut shell enables it to resist shattering. They tested coconut shells using compression machines and an impact pendulum and studied the microscopic structure of the endocarp, the hard inner layer of the coconut shell. This layer consists of cells surrounded by several rings of a hard woody substance named lignin, joined together by parallel bridges. This results in a ladder-like structure that resists bending. The endocarp is also able to dissipate the energy of a strong impact by crack deflection.

Plant biomechanist Stefanie Schmier explained: “This means that any newly developed cracks created by the impact don’t run directly through the hard shell”. The angle of the ladder-like structures helps divert the trajectory of any cracks. According to ScienceDaily, “The longer a crack has to travel within the endocarp, the more likely it is that it will stop before it reaches the other side”.

This research is part of a project named “Biological Design and Integrative Structures”. Scientists and engineers working on this project are hoping to apply the results to building materials to make them more resistant to earthquakes, rock falls and other hazards.


Editorial Comment: Here is a smashing failure for evolution by natural selection. If coconuts did not already have crack resistant shells, natural selection would eliminate them whenever they fell out of a tree. If these scientists and engineers have named their project “Biological Design” they are admitting they recognise design in living things, and it is only by creative design that they can apply their findings towards making earthquake resistant building materials.

When secular scientists pour scorn on the evidence for design in living things, it is not because they can’t find it. It is because they don’t want to be confronted with the Designer and be reminded that the same Creator who made coconuts also made them and us, and holds us accountable not just for what we do to his coconuts but to each other. (Ref. plants, trees, civil engineering)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 13
13 July 2016
Creation Research Australia