Meet the cucumber plant, nature’s engineering equivalent of non-Newtonian fluid.

Their vine tendrils have to be pretty strong to hold and pull the plant up toward sunlight. To help them out, the vines have a design that when low amounts of stress are applied to them, they uncoil like a normal spring. The more stress you put on the spring however, the tighter it coils.

Harvard researchers mimicked the plant’s form and makeup to make an applicable design.

Another great example of how much we still have to learn from even the most common of inspirations! As well as some insight into the process of experimentation needed to develop even a relatively simple new technology.