Have you ever thought about how incredible it is that our skin not only doesn’t dissolve after being submerged in water for a long time, but retains its strength? Mathematicians are thinking about it, and are hoping the study of pruny skin will shed light on new ways to provide structural stability. Myfanwy Evans, an Australian mathematician who specializes in topology — a branch of math that studies how geometric figures remain unchanged even after they have been bent and stretched — has used her experience with strange shapes called gyroids1 to come up with a “stringy skin model” that may explain how our skin works. This model could lead to the development of new materials that provide the same structural stability as human skin.
 Gyroids are beautifully strange (or strangely beautiful) shapes with minimal surface areas and no straight lines.