Bullet and silk thread
Media playback is unsupported on your device

Bullet fired into single strand of silk

7 July 2013 Last updated at 16:04 BST

Scientists have fired plastic bullets into silkworm cocoon strands, in an experiment designed find out how these strong, flexible materials stand up to very high-speed projectiles.

A team from the University of Oxford filmed these tests with high-speed cameras; the resulting footage is 9,000 times slower than real life.

PhD student Beth Mortimer explained that revealing the properties of the silk in this way could inform "bio-inspired design" - designing materials that are as strong and flexible as silkworm and spider silk.

This very short clip is an example of the super slow-motion footage their experiments generated.

Footage courtesy of Beth Mortimer and Dr Clive Siviour, University of Oxford.