(CNN)The zebra's stripes are known to protect it from blood-sucking insects, as well as acting as camouflage, and new research suggests that being stripy may also work for people in remote tribal communities who paint their bodies in monochrome shades.
Make like a zebra to avoid insect bites, scientists say
The traditional body-paintings of tribespeople in Africa, Australia and Papua New Guinea may offer protection from the blood-sucking horseflies abundant in those areas, the new study says.
Publishing their findings Wednesday in the Royal Society Open Science journal, a team of researchers led by scientists from Eotvos Lorand University in Hungary describe a bizarre series of experiments they carried out to test their theory.
They coated several plastic mannequins of different colors -- some mimicking dark skin, others in fair tones, while the remainder were dark brown with white stripes -- in glue and left them for four weeks in a horsefly-infested meadow in Hungary.