It turns out that zebras’ stripes serve a higher purpose than making them look ridiculously cool. A study published Tuesday in Royal Society Open Science suggests that the stripes have been part of the zebra’s evolution by helping to cool the animals down. Zebras in warmer climates have more stripes, adding further support to the theory. The stripes also may have helped zebras ward off illness. Biting flies, which are disease carriers, tend not to land on surfaces with stripes, so those stripes may serve two functions.