Shark skin is made of tiny, stiff segments of overlapping, textured dentin and enamel. Shark skin’s distinctive texture gives sharks greater efficiency moving through the water.

Shark Skin-Inspired Materials Have a Long Way to Go Before They Work Like the Real Thing

The predator's distinctive texture is the envy of engineers trying to maximize hydrodynamics

The official photo of the first Miss America winner, Margaret Gorman.

Miss America Is Ditching Its Swimsuit Competition

The pageant was founded as a 'bathing beauty' contest. But even in its earlier days, contestants did not always conform to the swimsuit portion happily

A mermaid eats an apple at the bottom of the (artificial) sea in this late 1940s postcard.

The Historic Tail of the Weeki Wachee Mermaids

You can even learn to “mermaid” yourself, if the fancy takes you

A woman wearing a burkini at the beach

France’s Top Court Overturns Burkini Ban

French swimmers may keep wearing what they please

Nude dancer Micheline Bernardini models the first bikini in Paris, France.

How the Summer of Atomic Bomb Testing Turned the Bikini Into a Phenomenon

The scanty suit’s explosive start is intimately tied to the Cold War and the nuclear arms race


The Swimsuit Series, Part 6: Ladies in Wading in Art

A look at how artists spent their summer vacations—at the beach


The Swimsuit Series, Part 5: Olympic Athletes, Posing

Vintage styles cycle in and out of favor among medal-winning racers


The Swimsuit Series, Part 4: A Competitive Swimmer’s Musings

In Leanne Shapton's Swimming Studies "Bathing" chapter, there's a story behind every suit


Swimsuit Series, Part 3: Is Today Truly the 66th Anniversary of the First Bikini?

The two-piece bathing suit got skimpier and more scandalous in 1946 Paris


The Swimsuit Series, Part 2: Beauty Pageants and the Inevitable Swimsuit Competition

In the latest chapter of the series, we look at how bathing suits came to be an integral part of the Miss America competition


Spanx on Steroids: How Speedo Created the New Record-Breaking Swimsuit

After Olympic officials banned the swimsuit that caused records to fall at the 2008 games, scientists are back with a new outfit that might break even more

Seven female swimmers at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., 1920

How Bathing Suits Went From Two-pieces to Long Gowns and Back

Bikinis may have been illegal in 1900, but they were all the rage in ancient Rome

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