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The Shark Gill

Ryan Borne


Behind the Shot

Some of the best and most successful industrial designs have deep roots in the natural design of nature. This study is called biomimicry—the science and art of emulating nature’s best biological ideas to solve human problems. Nature has been solving problems for billions of years, and wise designers have looked to nature for inspiration. Bird wings influence airplane design. Mosquito mouths influence needle design. Shark gills influenced automotive design—specifically, how to vent hot air from the engine while preserving an aerodynamic profile.

Ryan has always loved automotive and airplane design. He finds parallels between car and plane design and the designs in nature, particularly in sharks. This close-up photograph of a shark’s gills displays those similarities. Specifically, Ryan observes, “Nature is beautiful and sharks are beautiful. Shaped by millions of years of evolution, sharks are the closest things to perfection. You can feel their presence and energy. When they're around, they impose respect and humility. Sharing a moment with those sharks is definitely one of the experiences that I’m the most grateful for and that had a huge impact on me.”