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By mimicking the leaves of a carnivorous tropical plant, US scientists have developed a surface so slippery that everything slides off: water, oil, blood, ice, jam and even ants. This kind of 'omniphobic' surface could be used to produce graffiti-repelling walls, self-cleaning windows and pipes that transport fluids easily and quickly. Up to now, scientists developing highly slippery surfaces have mainly taken inspiration from the leaves of the lotus flower. The surface of these leaves are covered in microscopic ridges, coated in a water-repellent waxy substance, which traps a layer of air between the ridges. As a consequence, water falling onto the leaf doesn't spread out, but rather forms individual droplets that simply roll off.