When you’re caught in the crossfire while your best friend in shaking himself dry, it can seem like the shower will never end. But now new research proves the wet-dog shake is not only an effective way to get dry (and get everything else wet), it’s also exceptionally efficient, leaving your pup 70 percent dry in seconds.
Armed with high-speed cameras and a hose, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology filmed 33 furry species doing the dry dance. In addition to five different dog breeds, animals studied included mice, kangaroos, tigers, and bears–all provided courtesy of Zoo Atlanta.
The researchers found the key to shake-dry success is physics. The shaking generates force, breaking the surface tension that holds water to fur. Animals with looser skin can whip much farther and faster, swinging as much as 90 degrees, and generating forces between 10 to 70 times that of gravity.
And size matters too. Mice shake 30 times per second to dry off while bears need only shake four times per second to get just as arid.
It appears evolution has provided fur clad mammals with this ability to avoid hypothermia. Water logged coats in cold climates would be a death sentence for any animal that can’t dry off in a hurry.
Humans, though, will have to stick to the hair dryer.
“If we tried to do this with our heads we wouldn’t have the musculature to do this,” engineer David Hu told the New York Daily News.
You can check out video of this adorable research below.
Photo and video via Georgia Institute of Technology