The amphibious limb enabling humans to swim at ‘superhuman’ speeds

This reminded me of a far, far distant memory of a children’s TV programme which I think was called Aquamarina ……

Français : Aileron de requin. English : Shark ...

Français : Aileron de requin. English : Shark dorsal fin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The Murr-ma
Much firmer to wear in water than air,
a prosthetic limb shaped like a fin
propels you through water as fast as you can
spawning the vision of “fish-man”.
Mmmmm …… not nearly as glam
as the eponymous bat- or spider- man.
Heroes all
but no match at all
for fish-man at sea.
Envisage a marine built like a sardine,
or a navy seal with flippers for real
or a red beret that glides like a ray
or an SAS trooper that patrols like a grouper.
They’d be streamlined and sleek,
at home in a creek,
in a river or sea;
that’s where they would be
cavorting with dolphins,
in complete mastery
of their watery home
where they’d frolic and roam
leaving behind that old friend terra firma
now they’re conjoined with their Murr-ma.


9th August 2013 – headline from the Daily Mail

Notes:  “The AMPHIBIOUS prosthetic limb inspired by the world’s fastest fish that enables humans to swim at ‘superhuman’ speeds.”  Students from Sydney and London have developed an amphibious prosthetic limb that lets wearers run on sand and swim full speed in the sea.  The Murr-ma limb has a split-toe design that helps a user balance on the uneven terrain of a beach and has studs that give a larger surface area when running on soft sand.  When worn in water, Murr-ma has ‘fins’ fitted at the top of the prosthesis that channel the flow of water along the limb and propels the swimmer faster – and this can give wearers more thrust, less underwater drag and faster speeds than able-bodied people.  The fins of the Murr-ma were inspired by the dorsal fin of the sailfish, which is capable of swimming 100 metres in under five seconds.


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