But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, (Job 12:7-9 NKJV)
One of my favorite birds that I enjoy watching is the Kingfisher. The ones we have here in Florida (Belted Kingfishers) are rather plain compared to others around the world, but they all have a characteristic look of a very long bill on a large head and a short neck. It is the bill that those in Japan have studied that is amazing.
Japan has electric trains that speed over 200 miles per hour or 322 kilometers per hour. They are very safe and have a great record, but a noise problem had been plaguing them until they observed the Kingfisher’s beak. When the speeding trains went through the tunnels, it caused a “tunnel boom” which goes against their strict sound pollution laws.
“Eiji Nakatsu, the train’s chief engineer and an avid bird-watcher, asked himself, “Is there something in Nature that travels quickly and smoothly between two very different mediums?” Modeling the front-end of the train after the beak of kingfishers, which dive from the air into bodies of water with very little splash to catch fish, resulted not only in a quieter train, but 15% less electricity use even while the train travels 10% faster.” (Learning Efficiency from Kingfishers)
The “tunnel boom” is caused “when a train passes through such a tunnel at high speed, it compresses the air in front of the engine. Upon leaving the tunnel, this air rushes outward, creating a loud thunderclap, or sonic boom. Nearby windows rattle, and people are awakened by the noise.” (Don DeYoung, Answers) When the engineers did wind tunnel experiments they found that “the kingfisher’s bill is ideally shaped for a smooth, streamlined transition from air into water. This drastic change in pressure is similar to the change a bullet train experiences when emerging from a tunnel into the open air.”
By observing one of God’s created birds, the kingfisher, they were able to solve a serious problem. The Lord in His great wisdom has provided us many critters and other things to observe so that they may “tell us” things that will benefit us.
Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD. (Psalms 107:43 KJV)
Speeding Bullet – Answers V4, #3
Kingfisher – Train by Discovery of Design
Learning Efficiency from Kingfishers by Biomimicry Institute
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) by Daves BirdingPix, Blue-eared Kingfisher (Alcedo meninting) by Nik, Bullet Train
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