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'Invisibility wetsuit' to protect against sharks launched in Western Australia

Posted by on Jul. 19, 2013 at 12:42 PM
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1 mom liked this


'Invisibility wetsuit' to protect against sharks launched in Western Australia

Suits are designed to mimic nature, some camouflaging swimmers, others warning sharks to stay away

  • guardian.co.uk,

An “invisibility cloak” to protect surfers from sharks has been launched in Western Australia, the scene of five fatal shark attacks in recent years.

Scientists from the University of Western Australia, with designers Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS), have unveiled two new wetsuits that they say could save lives in the water.

Based on a breakthrough discovery that sharks are colour-blind, one wetsuit, labelled the “Elude”, is designed to camouflage a swimmer or diver in the sea.

At the other extreme, the “Diverter” sports bold white and dark-blue stripes, and is intended to mirror nature's warning signs to ward off any potential shark attack.

More than two years in development, the suits, which retail at $495, went on sale via online distributor Radiator on Wednesday.

Prof Shaun Collin, from UWA's Ocean Institute, said a mix of scientific discoveries and observations about nature were used to come up with warning suit designs aimed at reducing the risk to swimmers, surfers and divers.

“The idea is to reduce the risk of the wearer in certain conditions,” Collin said.

“Many animals in biology are repelled by noxious animals – prey that provide a signal that somehow says ‘Don't eat me’ – and that has been manifest in a striped pattern.

“We are using a lot of nature's technology, based on high-contrast-based banding patterns.

The wearer will be obvious, and the idea is the shark will see that as an unpalatable food item and swim right by.”

The five fatal attacks in WA waters in just under 12 months, which earned the state the unwelcome tag of shark attack capital of the world, prompted the research into the suits more than two years ago.

The designs have been tested in the water with tiger sharks – but not on humans – mainly in waters off the northern WA coast near Ningaloo Reef.

Testing will continue this summer with great white sharks in the waters off South Australia and South Africa.

Hamish Jolly, from SAMS, said the results so far warranted the suits going on sale immediately.

"We now know what these big predatory sharks can see, and what we have done is convert that science into a marketable technology," Jolly said.

"We have converted that into patents that we know will hide [wearers] or present wearers as not shark food."


by on Jul. 19, 2013 at 12:42 PM
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Replies (1-5):
punky3175
by Punky on Jul. 19, 2013 at 1:12 PM
1 mom liked this
This is really cool.

I was going to come in and make some smart ass remark about how I feel like I'm wearing an 'invisibility' cloak sometimes because people walk right into me or come very close but then I read the story. Too. Fricking. Cool!
OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Jul. 19, 2013 at 1:19 PM

 That's interesting!  If my husband ever gets his dream vacation diving with the Great Whites in Australia I'll be sure to make him put one of these on, if the developers are proven right. 

Peanutx3
by Ruby Member on Jul. 19, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Is your husband crazy????  I would love to go to Australia but I don't want to dive with the great whites.

Quoting OHgirlinCA:

 That's interesting!  If my husband ever gets his dream vacation diving with the Great Whites in Australia I'll be sure to make him put one of these on, if the developers are proven right. 



OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Jul. 19, 2013 at 2:20 PM

 LMAO!  Yes... yes he is!  He has a great white shark tattoo on his upper arm and a shark tooth and shark jaws tattooed on his shin and calf.  He's obsessed.  We are both SCUBA certified and he really does want to dive with the sharks.  While he does want to go to Australia, he found this too:

http://www.greatwhiteadventures.com/guadalupe_details.html

It's an expensive trip though, so he's just going to have to wait.... a LONG time...

His cousins call him "Shark Bait". 

Quoting Peanutx3:

Is your husband crazy????  I would love to go to Australia but I don't want to dive with the great whites.

Quoting OHgirlinCA:

 That's interesting!  If my husband ever gets his dream vacation diving with the Great Whites in Australia I'll be sure to make him put one of these on, if the developers are proven right. 


 

Peanutx3
by Ruby Member on Jul. 19, 2013 at 2:22 PM

LOL

Quoting OHgirlinCA:

 LMAO!  Yes... yes he is!  He has a great white shark tattoo on his upper arm and a shark tooth and shark jaws tattooed on his shin and calf.  He's obsessed.  We are both SCUBA certified and he really does want to dive with the sharks.  While he does want to go to Australia, he found this too:

http://www.greatwhiteadventures.com/guadalupe_details.html

It's an expensive trip though, so he's just going to have to wait.... a LONG time...

His cousins call him "Shark Bait". 

Quoting Peanutx3:

Is your husband crazy????  I would love to go to Australia but I don't want to dive with the great whites.

Quoting OHgirlinCA:

 That's interesting!  If my husband ever gets his dream vacation diving with the Great Whites in Australia I'll be sure to make him put one of these on, if the developers are proven right. 


 



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