Since the days of Charles Darwin, scientists have been haunted by the question: why do zebras have stripes? Once it was suggested that the stripes perform some kind of protective function, but the mechanism of this protection was not fully understood.
Scientists from the Universities of London and Queensland have succeeded in creating a computer model that simulates the movement of a herd of zebras. At the same time, it turned out that there are at least two optical effects that make other animals stay at a distance from the zebras.
The first is the spinning wheel effect. As you know, at a certain speed, an illusion arises that a spoked wheel begins to rotate in the opposite direction with respect to the motion vector.
The second is the so-called barber strip effect. Its essence lies in the fact that sometimes when the stripes move horizontally, there is an illusion of moving them vertically downward.
As a result, the natural enemies of zebras - blood-sucking insects and predators, perceive running, for example, two or three zebras, as a large herd, which is better not to touch.