An Australian company has developed an 'invisible wetsuit' designed to confuse sharks - and dissuade them from attacking surfers.
The so-called "invisibility cloak" has been launched by a company in Western Australia, where sharks have killed five people in less than a year.
It's based on the recently discovered insight that sharks are essentially colour blind. Their research led to two suits being developed to try and elude the beats. One ('Diverter') has bold dark blue and white stripes which are supposed to mirror the 'warning signs' that animals would use to intimidate sharks in nature.
The other suit ('Elude') is a camouflage suit intended to disguise a surfer in the sea.
The suits are the results of two years' work by researchers at the University of Western Australia, along with designers Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS).
They cost $495 and can be bought online at Radiator.
"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," Prof Shaun Collin from UWA told Associated Press.
“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."
Man Pushes Friend Into Path Of Oncoming Shark
This guy definitely wins the good attitude award after his friends push him off a boat and into the path of an approaching shark. Apparently those fins belong to a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basking_shark">Basking shark</a>, which isn't supposed to hurt anything other than plankton, but still. Read more <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/12/shark-attack-prank-video_n_2287659.html">about the prank here</a>.
Breakfast With A Great White
A family fishing for tuna off the Massachusetts coast <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/huge-great-white-shark-snacks-seal-video_n_1829167.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003">found something a bit bigger in the water </a>when their boat came across a seal carcass being circled by a large fin. What turned out to be a 15-foot great white shark spent ten minutes eating breakfast as the family looked on. Great white's are becoming fairly common in the region, particularly the Monomoy Island area where thousands of seals whet the sharks' appetites, according to <a href="http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dmf/spotlight/white_shark_2010.htm">the Department of Fish and Wildlife</a>. <strong>(Warning: Some might be disturbed by the contents of this video.)</strong>
Shark Tank In Mall Bursts
Most people don't expect to come face-to-face with sharks while they're shopping, but some unfortunate mall-goers in China had a very close encounter when a 33-ton shark tank burst. A few employees and shoppers were cut by cascading glass, but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/27/shark-tank-breaks-china-video_n_2369967.html">three lemon sharks that died in the accident</a> were the real victims.
The One That Got Away
It sounds like a bar story gone a little too far, but one woman has the video footage to prove <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/11/woman-catches-shark-the-one-that-got-away_n_1666174.html">she snared a massive shark while fishing </a>in a canal. She reels in what's identified as a five-pound red drum, which isn't bad, until a shark jumps out to eat her catch. Hilarity ensues. <strong>(Warning: Video Contains Adult Language)</strong>
Between A Diver And His Boat
These two divers came face to face with a massive great white shark off the coast of Australia that came between them and their boat. Luckily, they each had a speargun and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/13/great-white-australia-divers-video_n_1671894.html">a nice, gentle prod</a> sent the creature on its way.
Australian Fisherman Circled By Great White
This 13-foot great white either really wanted to be friends with these Australian fishermen or was very, very hungry after circling their <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/18/lorne-shark-video-australia-great-white_n_2506389.html">small fishing boat for more than 40 minutes</a>. The two caught the massive shark on their phones prodding the boat with his nose two miles off the coast of Lorne, Australia.
"Jaws" Sighted Off Venice Beach, Calif.
In a moment straight out of <em>Jaws</em>, two fishermen got up close and personal with a great white shark that could have been <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/great-white-shark-in-veni_n_1765396.html">big enough to knock their 18-foot boat over</a> off the coast of Venice Beach, Calif. One of the men caught the creature circling the vessel on his iPhone, but they managed to get away unscathed. The shark did leave a few bite marks on the boat's motor though.
Truck-Sized Shark Off North Carolina Coast
Another group on a fishing trip of the coast of North Carolina over Thanksgiving weekend ran into a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/30/great-white-shark-matt-garrett_n_1121277.html">great white shark nearly 20-feet long</a>, the length of a full-size pick-up. The group was about 25 miles off the coast when the creature started nudging the boat and slapping it with its tail.
Divers Chased Into Boat By Shark
Four divers competing in a spearfishing tournament ran into a great white off the Florida coast. They were about to hop in the water when the first diver retreated back onto the vessel with his spear gun pointed at the water as a "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/great-white-shark-spotted_n_1680526.html">huge fin followed him to the edge of the boat</a>." They started chumming the water to get a better view and then recorded the great white swimming right next to them.