British Columbia's Simon Fraser University has taken a nod from nature to create a printable image that is nearly impossible to duplicate. Using nature as the inspiration for human tech innovations is called biomimicry and in this case, butterfly wings are the stars.
The (male) Morph butterfly from South America is known for its bright, dazzling blue-green wings. Kind of like a male peacock, the male Morpho's wings have a complex pattern of scales that interact with light and reflect different colors. This unique signature is similar to a fingerprint and researchers at Simon Fraser found that the iridescent greens and blues can be used for nano-optics.
So, the university licensed their find to Vancouver's Nanotech Security Corp. and the Morpho butterfly is being used as the model for a very ambitious anti-counterfeiting project. The image can be printed on all sorts of things, like plastic, metal, solar cells, fabrics and paper. This would make it a lot easier to track shipments and make sure you have real pharmaceuticals or currency.