Gearboxes and Jet Engines in Nature
Just about everyone interested in motor vehicles knows the importance of gearboxes and jet engines. Few, however, are aware that there are gearboxes and jet engines in nature, which possess designs far superior to those employed by man.
Gearboxes allow you to change gears in the vehicle so that the motor is used most efficiently. Natural gearboxes work along the same principles as those in cars. Flies, for example, use a natural gearbox that provides three-speed gearshift connected to its wings. Thanks to this system, a fly can instantaneously accelerate or slow down by flapping its wings at the desired speed while in the air.47
In cars, at least four gears are used to transmit the power from the engine to the wheels. It is possible to drive smoothly only when the gears are used in succession, from low gear to high, and back again. Instead of gears in cars, which are heavy and take up a lot of room, flies have a mechanism that takes up only a few cubic millimeters. Thanks to their far more functional mechanism, flies can beat their wings with ease.
The squid, octopus and nautilus employ a propellant force similar to the principle used by jet engines. To understand just how effective this force is, consider that the species of squid known as Loligo vulgaris can travel in the water at speeds up to 32 kilometers [20 miles] an hour.48
The nautilus, an incomparable example in this regard, resembles an octopus and may be compared to a ship with a jet engine. It takes water in through a tube beneath its head and then shoots the water out. While the water travels in one direction, the nautilus is propelled in the other.
Another feature makes scientists envious of these creatures: Their natural jet engines remain impervious to the high pressure of the deep sea. Moreover, the systems that let them move are both silent and extremely light. In fact, the nautilus' superior design served as a model for submarines.
100-Million-Year-Old Technology Under the Sea
When a submarine fills its ballast tanks with water, the ship becomes heavier than water and sinks toward the bottom. If water in the tanks is emptied out by means of compressed air, then the submarine surfaces. The nautilus employs the same technique. In its body there is a 19-cm (7.48 in) spiral organ rather like a snail's shell, inside which are 38 interconnected "diving" chambers. To empty out the water; it also needs compressed air—but where does the nautilus find the air it needs?
By biochemical means, the nautilus produces a special gas in its body and transfers this gas to the chambers, expelling water from them to regulate its buoyancy. This allows the nautilus to dive or surface when hunting or chased by predators.
A submarine can only venture safely to a depth of about 400 meters (1,310 feet), whereas the nautilus can easily descend to a depth of 450 meters (1,500 feet).49
Such a depth is very dangerous to many living things. But despite this, the nautilus remains unaffected, its shell is not crushed by the pressure and its body suffers no harm.
Another very important point needs to be considered here. The nautilus has possessed this system, which can withstand the pressure at some 450 meters, since the day it was created. How can it have designed this special structure all by itself? On its own, could the nautilus have developed the gas to obtain the necessary compressed air to empty out the water in its shell? It is definitely impossible for the creature to know how to create the chemical reaction to produce gas, much less build the structures in its body necessary to bring that chemical reaction about, nor to structure a shell capable of withstanding tons of water pressure.
This superior design is the work of God, Who flawlessly created everything, with no prior models. God's title of al-Badi' (the Innovative Creator), is revealed in the Qur'an:
He is the Originator of the heavens and the Earth ...
47 "Learning From Designs in Nature," Life A product of Design; http://www.watchtower.org/library/g/2000/1/22/article_02.htm
48 Stuart Blackman, "Synchronised Swimming," BBC Wildlife, Februar 1998, S. 57.
49 Waikiki Aquarium Education Department, Dezember 1998; http://waquarium.mic.hawaii.edu/MLP/root/html/MarineLife/Invertebrates/Molluscs/Nautilus.html