If you’re feeling a bit nervous after watching Sharknado, Australian scientists from both the University of Western Australia’s Ocean Institute and Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) have you covered—literally.
The joint project recently introduced a pair of new wetsuits, two years in the making, to protect surfers from shark attacks.
One suit, “Elude”, uses SAMS Cryptic Technology to protect divers. Working with the relatively recent discovery that sharks are colorblind, the outfit comes patterned with swirling shades of blue designed to emulate the surrounding water, which SAMS claims renders the shark effectively blind during the attack.
On its website, SAMS says that while the shark can still sense you’re around, “It is less likely to attack if the target cannot be seen.”
The other suit, “Diverter”, employs SAMS Warning Technology: while Elude allows you to blend in with your aquatic surroundings, Diverter relies on standing out to protect surfers. If you watch the SAMS video, you’ll see sharks get close to the Diverter suit, preparing to attack, before swerving abruptly away.
Diverter features a pattern of bold blue, black, and white stripes, and it serves as a warning for sharks—fish with similar patterns are often poisonous, so sharks instinctually avoid these patterns under normal circumstances.
Now, shark attacks are exceedingly rare—at only 100 cases per year, you’re more likely to be killed by a pet dog—but hey, you never know. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
And remember: if the suit doesn’t work (or if you can’t afford to spend $495 AU), you need to look the shark right in the depths of his cold, hellish eyes, scream your favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger one-liner (“I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I’m going to ram it into your stomach and break your goddamn spine!”), and punch that sack of teeth right in the nose. Just don't blame us if this approach backfires.
This story, "New wetsuits keep you safe from sharks, can't protect against terrible 'Jaws' sequels" was originally published by TechHive.