If you think it's amazing that a lowly bug evolved to do that, it's even more remarkable when you consider the complexity of the mechanism that makes it happen. Inside, it has two different chemicals and a mixing chamber. The chemicals react and get so hot that pressure builds in the chamber, which is then released through the openings on the beetle's abdomen. It can squirt the burning jet up to 20 centimeters.
"Shit! Did I get it in your hair? I promise I wasn't trying to do that."
Lots of animals squirt poison. The bombardier beetle, however, shoots quick-fire pulses like a machine gun -- one that can fire up to 500 times a second. For the sake of context, a top-of-the-line minigun on its fastest setting will fire about 100 times a second. The beetle is able to do all of this thanks to a remarkable system of internal valves that are way more efficient than what us humans have been able to build.
How We Can Steal It:
Keep in mind, all sorts of technology requires the misting and mixing of chemicals -- everything from car fuel-injection systems to the nebulizers that asthma sufferers use. Come up with a better misting system and you can change the world.
That's why researchers took the bombardier beetle's design and used it as the model for uMist. It's here that we should point out that, in order to mimic what the beetle is born with, it takes a machine that freaking looks like this: