These little guys manage to get just about everywhere, thanks in part to their amazing ability to stay windborne for up to 150 km! To do that, the dandelion uses a bristly umbrella of tiny filaments, known as a pappus, that can generate more than four times the drag per area of a solid disk. Its porosity – all that empty space between the filaments – is also key to its stability; it helps create and stabilize a separated vortex ring that the seed uses to stay aloft.

Watch & learn: