While the water repelling properties of the lotus leaf are the stuff of legend, like much in nature, scientists have found a way to replicate them. Superhydrophobic surfaces (as lotus leaf mimicking materials are known) have been around for years and they do repel water very well but, to date, the lotus has always had a leg up on them. Scratch a lotus leaf and, while its water repelling nature will be temporarily lost, the tissues will heal and the water repelling trait will return. Scratch any superhydrophobic surface and the water repelling trait is permanently lost. Now a team has found a way to help these surfaces heal themselves by mimicking another living organism: the lizard. The researchers created multiple layers of water proof material that were sandwiched together using water soluble glue. When the top layers became compromised, water seeped in, dissolved the glue, drove the top layer to fall off and exposed the undamaged water proof layer below. The material literally sheds its skin like a reptile. You can read more in The Economist article that I wrote on this here.