Courtesy Luis M. Escudero/Universidad de Sevilla
You’ve seen cylinders, prisms, and pyramids. Now look out for the scutoid! It’s a three-dimensional shape that looks like a cylinder with vertical slices chopped off its sides. “When a shape has unique qualities, we give it a special name,” says Javier Buceta, a biophysicist at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He helped discover the scutoid.
You don’t have to look far to find a scutoid. Just look at your body! Buceta and his team discovered that skin cells have this unique shape. It allows them to curve around each other as tightly as possible to protect our bodies.