Striped body painting used by some indigenous groups may provide protection against horseflies, research suggests.
For years we have known that the black and whites stripes on a zebra’s body were a vital deterrent to horseflies.
But scientists think that the stripes may also protect humans from the blood-sucking insects.
Many of the indigenous tribes in Africa, Australia and Papua New Guinea who paint stripes on their bodies also live in places where horseflies are widespread.
The stripes are for decoration, emotional expression or as markers of identity or group affiliation but maybe they also know something about repelling insects that the rest of the world did not.