If living like Aquaman or the little mermaid have long since been a part of your erstwhile fantasies, we have some seriously good news for you. Scientists from the University of Southern Denmark have actually taken a giant leap towards creating a mechanism by which we could soon breathe under water.
These researchers have synthesized crystalline materials, something they are now aptly calling the “Aquaman Crystal” that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations and then this stored oxygen can be released again when and where it is needed. One of the lead researchers on the project, Christine McKenzie, says that what makes the material most interesting is its capacity to “absorb and release oxygen many times without losing the ability to do so. It is like dipping a sponge in water, squeezing the water out of it and repeating the process over and over again.”
What we (and most people) are most excited about it, though, has everything to do with the possibility of diving underwater without tanks, but it has many uses beyond just this, it turns out. Scientists note that the crystalline discovery may have several medical uses as well, including helping lung patients breathe without the help of an oxygen tank, which is largely considered to be an inconvenience due to its bulkiness. McKenzie elaborates by saying that “when a substance is saturated with oxygen, it can be compared to an oxygen tank containing pure oxygen under pressure — the difference is that this material can hold three times as much oxygen.”
Currently, there’s no concrete timeline in place as to when this material may be converted for commercial use, but the fact is, it exists. So hopefully, it won’t be too long before we’re making like some creature out of water world and swimming with the fish. Let’s just hope it doesn’t lead to us colonizing underwater territory and sea-life more than we already have.
[Check out this video of researcher Fabian Cousteau emerging after 31 days of living 63 feet underwater in a research lab]
Compiled By: Homegrown Staff