BBC Learning Zone Clips


Force, pressure and surface area - stinging nettles

Force, pressure and surface area - stinging nettles
Key Info
  • Force, pressure and surface area - stinging nettles
  • Duration: 02:08
  • How can something as soft as a nettle sting a person? The hairs on the nettle leaves which deliver the stinging poison are very sharp. They have a surface area at their tips about one fifth that of a pin, so only a small amount of pressure or force is needed to puncture a person's skin or a balloon.
  • Subject:



    Phys: Forces - Contact and Non-contact

  • Keywords: forces, pressure, adaptation, surface area
Ideas for use in class
  • Use this clip as a starter for work on increased pressure from reduced surface area. Intermediate plenary to show the effect of surface area on the pressure exerted by an object. Good example of how humans copy nature in their technology; the stinging needle is similar in shape to a medical needle used for injections.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 4x3

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