Energy & Sustainability Science
Deconstructing the lotus root

Windell, over at EMS Labs, takes a break from experimenting with hardware to play with his food, geeking out over the strange and cool properties of the Nelumbo Nucifera, also known as the Sacred Lotus (amongst other names):

Any plant fiber running down the length of the rhizome would be trimmed down to an inch or so when we cut the rootlet to size. And yet, the fibers drawn between the two pieces can stretch out to many times that length. The only explanation that makes sense to me is if this is not really a fiber that exists in the lotus root, but is instead a chemical– a polymer– that stretches into these strings when given the opportunity.

With a little more care to the preparation of the rootlet– carefully scoring around the entire outer husk, you can pull many more fibers:


Another oddity of lotus roots


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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