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Amazing Natural Packaging Design: Human Skin!
Photo © Chris Costes
Speaking of insects, our skin doesn’t keep EVERYthing out, and in fact, there are some types of insects that can invade the skin after all. These are pretty much my worst nightmare; I’m not afraid of insects, spiders, amphibians, or rodents and generally consider them my friends. But burrowing creatures that get under your skin are fairly terrifying. The botfly of Africa is probably the most well-known. The adult fly lays the egg under your skin, where the larvae burrow into your body and can be impossible to remove. Supposedly, they can even get into your brain. So skin’s not perfect….but insects are a tough lot to beat!
While the term ‘hide’ is generally only used for large animal skins (horse, cow, etc.), as fans of the 1991 film Silence of the Lambs will know, human skin can also be tanned and used to make the same things that animals are made of, like handbags, shoes or wallets. While perhaps a bit of a ghoulish thought, it’s interesting to note that human skin is that tough of a material. Unlike previous entries in this category (banana leaves or Wombat rumps), I’m not going to take the next step and suggest other applications for human skin beyond which it is currently used, but simply marvel at the wonder of the stuff that surrounds me- and you – right now.
Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick and author of The Eco-Chick Guide to Life (St. Martin’s Press). A green living expert, she contributes to The Huffington Post and Mother Nature Network (MNN.com)
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