anywhooooooooooooooooooooooooo, this was pretty damn cool:
Butterfly Wing Colors Come From Space-Age Structures
By Brandon Keim
Some butterflies get their fabulous colors from light refracted through membrane shapes that were first discovered by mathematicians and applied in space-age material science.
Using microscopes with three-dimensional nanoscale resolution, Yale University researchers found that shades of green in the wings of five butterfly species are produced by crystalline structures called gyroids.The gyroid shape was conceived in 1970 by NASA physicist Alan Schoen in his theoretical search for ultra-light, ultra-strong materials for use in space. The new study describing the shape in butterflies is in the June 15 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences..........
Read More http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/06/butterfly-colors/#ixzz0qtlNkHve...............
Images: 1. Wing scale photonic nanostructure, from electron micorscope to model./PNAS.