... for the inevitable counter - slime-seeking missiles!!! Mind you, the slime ships could just eject salesmen and politicians as decoys!
University engineering profs in San Diego believe they may be on the road to solving a conundrum which has baffled the greatest researchers for decades. That is, how to build a gigantic ekranoplan style sea-skimming battlecruiser supported not by a flimsy cushion of air but one of self-generated slime. "Water snails show us …
"the diminutive slime-trail sailors manage to grip the surface of the water rather as a foot or wheel does a solid surface"
Doesn't this imply that the snails are using surface tension for a big part of this gig and that maybe the hydrophilic properties of the slime is aiding it? In that case it's not likely to scale up too effectively, but if it does, I'm going to paint my shoes in this slime and scare some anglers along the river beside where I live when I go for a walk.
However, if it does, I fully expect, nay demand, the construction of water-walking tripods, a la HG Wells, based on the design of the humble pond skater. And you can throw in one of those jumbo pork-eating frikkin chemical lasers on top for good measure.
If ooze drive ( thanks Lewis! if any researcher needs human nasal mucous to compare to snail slime there is now about twenty or thirty cc s of it mixed with tea on my key board) should become a method of Navy propulsion, I can recommend researching the Rosy Wolf snail (Euglandia Rosea) from the South Eastern U S which is predatory on other snails, it detects and tracks them down by their slime trails .
A typical one-track article from this turrible author whose primary qualification appears to be alliteration. (Just kidding - he's brilliant. :)
But we need to branch out here. With all the robots being made, surely this technology will "start small" and before reaching battleships be floating aquatic killbots. Imagine the humiliation of being gunned down by a snail - on a river, no less. Ugh. It would be like being beaten up by a sloth at an ice rink.
This must be precisely how those floating white ball things in The Prisoner worked. So maybe they're up on the invention block as well.
And cargo shipping is always keen to reduce their fuel costs. So if this lubricative slime layer helps them cross the ocean any more smoothly, they'll want in on it so they can ship things more cheaply - watching out for pirates 'round Africa, one would hope.
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