Bullet and silk thread
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Bullet fired into single strand of silk

Scientists have fired plastic bullets into silkworm cocoon strands, in an experiment designed find out how these strong, flexible materials stand up to very high-speed projectiles.

A team from the University of Oxford filmed these tests with high-speed cameras; the resulting footage is 9,000 times slower than real life.

PhD student Beth Mortimer explained that revealing the properties of the silk in this way could inform "bio-inspired design" - designing materials that are as strong and flexible as silkworm and spider silk.

This very short clip is an example of the super slow-motion footage their experiments generated.

Footage courtesy of Beth Mortimer and Dr Clive Siviour, University of Oxford.

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