Garden hose

The internal reinforcement of a garden hose differs to that of a mammalian penis

paulsalmon/Getty Images/RooM RF

Mammals are able to maintain stiff erections because their penises have a rare form of internal reinforcement. Now, a discovery inspired by playing with a garden hose means we finally understand the extent of the benefits this offers.

“It was a pandemic lockdown issue,” says Peter Palffy-Muhoray, a physicist at Kent State University in Ohio who normally studies liquid crystals. “While out in the back yard, we noticed the funny undulations of a hose, and wondered about it. Then we stumbled on the …