Vacuum Cleaners and Things that Suck!
A vacuum cleaner is a device that uses an air pump to create partial vacuum to suck up dirt and dust from floors and other surfaces like drapes and upholstery. The simplest way of explaining how the vacuums cleaner sucks up debris is to think of it like a straw. When you take a sip of drink through a straw, the action of sucking creates negative air pressure inside the straw; a pressure that is lower than that of the surrounding atmosphere. Tests have shown that vacuuming can kill 100% of young fleas and 95% of adult fleas.
An elephant’s trunk is like a vacuum. The trunk is sensitive enough to pick up a blade of grass and strong enough to rip the branches off a tree. The trunk is also used for drinking – the elephant can suck up to 14 litres of water at a time and then blow it straight into its mouth! The number of muscles elephant trunks contain is simply staggering. Most estimates put it between 40,000 and 100,000 muscles! To put it into context, the human body contains only 639 muscles in total, and all muscles are supported by bones and tendons. On the other hand, hawk moths aren't the most svelte or slender fliers. But when you can unfurl a 14-inch long proboscis, who cares? Like nectar bats, many species of hawk moths (sometimes called sphinx moths) can reach nectar inaccessible to other flying creatures.
- Report infographic